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Weekly Briefing: Dec. 19-22, 2023

Week of December 19, 2023

With the holidays upon us and another year coming to a close, the EFCG team would like to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season! We hope that this time is filled with love, peace, and holiday cheer surrounded by loved ones. EFCG looks forward to seeing you again in 2024!

COP28 Agreement: A Global Commitment to Transition Away from Fossil Fuels

  • The United Nations climate conference, known as COP28, resulted in an agreement approved by more than 190 governments, calling for a global transition away from fossil fuels.

  • The agreement emphasizes a just, orderly, and equitable transition away from fossil fuels in energy systems. It advocates for an accelerated shift to clean energy this decade, aiming for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. This goal aligns with the Paris accord’s objective to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial temperatures.

  • The agreement marks the first time a U.N. climate agreement has called for governments to cut back on all fossil fuels.

  • The agreement endorses carbon capture and storage technology, which allows for the burning of fossil fuels while capturing and storing the carbon-dioxide emissions. This could influence the Architecture, Engineering, and Consulting (AEC) industry’s approach to energy-efficient and sustainable design and construction.


Manufacturing and Infrastructure Construction Evolve with the Rise of Electric Vehicles

  • The Biden administration’s Federal Sustainability Plan requires all federal agencies to transition to light-duty electric vehicles by 2027 and heavy-duty zero-emission vehicles by 2035. This has led to a shift in methods by contractors, EV manufacturers, development consultants, and transportation designers and planners to speed up design and construction.

  • Automakers such as Hyundai and Ford are offering cash rebates as high as $7,500 per vehicle to combat slumping EV sales. Despite this, the industry is planning for long-term growth.

  • The U.S. Department of Transportation is working with states and local governments to build a national network of 500,000 publicly accessible EV charging stations by 2030

  •  Automakers Ford, General Motors, and Rivian have agreed to make their EVs capable of using the North American Charging Standard (NACS) ports, which is based on charger hardware that automaker Tesla has been using.

December 18, 2023

Baxter & Woodman, an Illinois-based infrastructure planning, design, and construction services firm, acquired Green Civil Design (GCD), a Texas-based engineering firm. The acquisition expands Baxter & Woodman’s water, wastewater, and site design services in the Austin area. John Ambrose, President and CEO of Baxter & Woodman, said of the acquisition, “The two companies share similar corporate values and will complement each other to make a strong team. We will combine the planning, design, and construction expertise of both firms to serve the needs of the growing Texas population”.


December 18, 2023

Trinity Consultants (Trinity), a Texas-based environmental consulting firm, acquired Valcoustics Canada Ltd. (Valcoustics), a Toronto-based acoustical engineering firm. Valcoustics will join Trinity’s Built Environment business pillar and strengthens their built environment practice. Jim Perry, Managing Director at Trinity Cerami, said of the acquisition, “Valcoustics shares our dedication to helping clients unearth hidden acoustic and technical possibilities and pursue practical solutions. The company’s superior reputation, commitment to quality, and synergistic organizational structure will be a strategic asset to Trinity as we take the next step in our growth plan”.


December 19, 2023

Sanderson Bellecci, a California-based construction engineering firm, has merged with Coleman Engineering, a California-based engineering services firm for community water and wastewater systems. The partnership strengthens Sanderson Bellecci’s water and wastewater utilities design and contract operations and adds additional locations throughout the west coast. Chad Coleman, founder of Coleman, said of the acquisition, “This merger was not required, but once we met the Sanderson Bellecci team and explored the possibilities, it was easy to see the benefits and to imagine our professionals thriving together. We anticipate significant benefits to our team members and for our value clients as this team grows and prospers together”.


December 20, 2023

Raba Kistner, Inc. (Raba Kistner), a Texas-based engineering consulting and program management firm, has acquired six offices in the Gulf Coast region from Braun Intertec, a Minnesota-based geotechnical, environmental consulting and testing firm. The offices include: construction materials engineering and testing (CoMET), Geotechnical Engineering, and Drilling/CPT operations of Braun’s locations in Beaumont, TX; La Porte, TX; Corpus Christi, TX; Gonzales, LA; Lafayette, LA; and Sulphur, LA. Outside of the acquisition areas, Braun Intertec will continue to serve its clients throughout the remainder of Texas through its other offices. The acquisitions bring 60 new professionals to the Raba Kistner team and expands their Gulf Coast region presence. Chris Schultz, President and CEO of Raba Kistner, said of the acquisitions, “We are delighted to welcome these professionals to Raba Kistner and our Gulf Coast team. Raba Kistner is dedicated to ensuring a smooth transition for both staff and clients during the integration process and will provide uninterrupted and exceptional service to our new and current clients”.


December 21, 2023

TranSystems Corp. (TranSystems), an Illinois-based transportation consulting firm backed by Sentinel Capital Partners, has acquired BCE Engineers, Inc. (BCE), a Washington-based mechanical, electrical and fire protection engineering consulting firm. The acquisition of BCE will help to boost TranSystems architecture and buildings systems services, and expand its geographic presence in the Pacific Northwest region.


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