Case Studies

Tectonic Engineering and Surveying Consultants P.C.

A multi-disciplined firm

As one of the top 20 engineering firms in the New York City metropolitan area, Tectonic Engineering and Surveying Consultants P.C. (Tectonic) has demonstrated its ability to deliver top-quality work to a clientele whose expectations are nothing short of excellence for almost 27 years. As a multi-disciplined full-service engineering firm, Tectonic provides planning, engineering, construction and program management for public and private clients nationwide.

Founded in 1986, by Don Benvie and Rich Kummerle, Tectonic has built up an impressive portfolio and has greatly expanded from its base in New York in a little over a quarter-century. Benvie, president and CEO of Tectonic, says he gets a tremendous amount of pride from the ability of his team. “I love seeing them develop into acknowledged professionals in their own right,” he continues.

In 2013, with 500 employees across 14 locations, Tectonic garnered $70 million in revenue and again landed on Engineering News Record’s (ENR’s) list of Top 500 Design Firms, coming in at No. 173. Within the wireless telecommunications markets, Tectonic has positioned itself within the top 25 ENR 500 firms providing telecommunications A/E services and within the top 10 firms working on wireless tower and antennae site. Notably, Tectonic has been in the top 200 since 2001.

Dual niches in the industry

“The company has two niches,” explains Benvie. “The first is construction engineering services for the transportation and infrastructure markets, and the second is architecture and engineering design services to wireless telecommunication companies, such as Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint.”

With six locations in New York, Tectonic focuses on construction engineering services for the northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, as well as telecommunications in both the downstate and upstate New York markets. Benvie notes that the sectors Tectonic services are transportation, infrastructure, wireless telecommunications, energy, water resources, education and health care.

“A good amount of our work is in these areas,” he continues. “It’s where we concentrate a lot of our energy.” Tectonic professionals range from civil, structural, environmental and geotechnical engineers to geologists, scientists, surveyors, planners and construction inspectors.

Tectonic’s niche in wireless telecommunications results in work from coast to coast. In recent years, Tectonic has expanded its footprint by adding offices in Florida, Arizona and New Mexico, in addition to its telecom service centers in New York and Virginia. The Wireless Telecommunication Group provides site acquisition, engineering, design, permitting and construction management.

As usage of data on wireless devices increases continuously nationwide, Tectonic has been busy with build-outs, equipment upgrades and new antenna sites. The company has worked on more than 50,000 cellular telephone sites across the U.S.

Longstanding work and relationships

According to Benvie, regarding construction engineering services in the transportation and infrastructure markets, opportunities have increasingly come in design-build project delivery versus design-bid-build, and Tectonic has been able to handle the shift in trends seamlessly because of its ongoing relationships with many national heavy civil contractors. The company offers construction management, resident engineering, contract administration, special inspection QAQC and laboratory materials testing.

Additionally, Tectonic completes design work for contractors, including the design of temporary facilities on-site. Many of these contractors – both general contractors and subcontractors – return to Tectonic time and again; in the process, longstanding relationships have been built. The company’s relationships have positioned Tectonic favorably as design-build delivery of projects become more and more prevalent with transportation and public works agencies.

Benvie is proud to note that transportation and public agencies will hire Tectonic directly as a resident engineer for transportation and infrastructure projects to supervise and administer traditional design-bid-build projects. These agencies include: the New York and New Jersey D.O.T.s, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, the Port Authority of New York, the New York State Thruway Authority and in New England, the Connecticut and Massachusetts D.O.T.s.

The company has built strong relationships internally, and therefore, has cultivated a workforce of dedicated loyal professionals by not only treating employees with respect and dignity, but also by providing challenging and rewarding work on high profile projects. According to Benvie, employee longevity is one of his biggest sources of pride. “Employees are recognized for their ability,” he adds. “Loyalty of employees staying with the company through both good and not so good times is prized at Tectonic.”

Spotlight on the work

Recently, Tectonic has been working at the World Trade Center complex in New York City, the pillar of which is 1 World Trade Center, the 1,776-foot tower to stand in honor of the fallen twin towers. The company has been providing special inspections during the construction process of the massive undertaking, which spans 16 acres and has a $14.8 billion budget. The complex is comprised of five skyscrapers, a transportation hub and retail complex. The transportation hub runs underneath the site and connects all the subway systems and incoming trains from New Jersey.

Along the same lines, Tectonic has been working on another behemoth project that will transform the landscape of Manhattan. Hudson Yards, on the West Side along the Hudson River, has been dubbed the largest construction project in the entire country: a $20 billion endeavor with 26 million square feet of new office development, 20,000 units of housing, 2 million square feet of retail and 3 million square feet of hotel space. The work for Tectonic on this project will be ongoing for the next several years.

Additionally, Tectonic has been working for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the New York City Transit Authority on several major rail projects for the past five years, including the Second Avenue Subway No. 7-line to serve the west side of Manhattan and the Long Island Railroad East Side Access project, under Grand Central Station.

In the wireless telecommunications side of business, Tectonic is involved with major capital programs throughout the United States that Verizon is undertaking to add capacity through both equipment upgrades and installation of new tower sites.

More of the same to come

In the future, Benvie is looking to grow Tectonic’s services, increase transportation and public agency work, expand the company’s geographic footprint along the Eastern Seaboard and broaden its role in the energy sector, particularly in the natural gas market that is benefiting from the development of shale gas. “I also see opportunity in the electrical transmission industry where because of the need to improve the distribution and transmission system to ensure reliable sources of electricity,” he says.

Over the course of these efforts, company leadership will continue to focus on what Benvie calls basic business instincts innate to Tectonic. The company will deliver on what it promises and complete work to the very best of its ability. Delivering high-quality work and staying within budget are standard business practice at Tectonic.

With a deep well of expert professionals, Tectonic has no problem fulfilling its many multi-disciplinary offerings in several market sectors nationwide. It looks like Tectonic Engineering & Surveying Consultants P.C. will not only stay in the top 200 companies on the list of 500 by ENR engineering design firms, but continue to move up the list as years pass.

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Spring 2018



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