Skilling Ward Magnusson Barkshire

Practice: Structural and civil engineering

Founded: 1923

Leadership: Jon Magnusson, chairman and CEO, Ron Klemencic, president

"This year may be our best-ever year," said Jon Magnusson, chairman and CEO of Skilling Ward Magnusson Barkshire. "Structural assignments are numerous and varied throughout the country and prospects look good. Civil site development work continues to be very strong for us in the Puget Sound area. We have continued to be able to attract the very best personnel because of the great projects we have had to good fortune to work on."

Skilling, which has grown slightly to 125 this year with gross billings of $19.2 million, divides structural design and site development work between 16 major project types.

"We are continuing to be sought out by contractors for large-scale design-build work," said Magnusson. "Several of these projects are in the hundreds of millions of dollars of construction cost. We see this trend continuing and growing."

Magnusson is particularly interested in a trend he calls "bridging design-build," a type of project delivery system that is catching on in mega-projects in other regions. The Los Angeles Federal Courthouse and McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago are examples. Whereas in traditional design-build a single design and construction team takes the project from concept through construction, in the new model there is a separate "bridge" team that first develops a conceptual design with the owner. A new design development and construction team then takes the project to completion.

International markets are strong, noted Magnusson, especially in Asia and certain parts of the Middle East. State-imposed time limits for seismic improvements in California are coming due, and bringing work to structural engineers.

Magnusson is particularly interested in the new Olympic Sculpture Garden with the Seattle Art Museum, for which Skilling is providing civil engineering services. Other local projects include the downtown Seattle Library, now under construction; the new Washington Mutual Tower beside the Seattle Art Museum with NBBJ; the Everett Arena with LMN; the Tacoma Convention Center with MulvannyG2; and two new buildings and a north wing upgrade for Harborview Medical Center, also with NBBJ.

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