Industry consolidation continues as two regional firms joined forces today. Indianapolis-based Ratio Architects announced the finalization of its merger with Raleigh, N.C.-based Cherry Huffman Architects (CHA). The transaction, first announced in January, is Ratio’s second merger. In 2004, it joined with a Champaign, IL-based architecture firm.

Louis Cherry, FAIA, CHA’s former principal, becomes the sixth principal in the newly combined firm, which will maintain the Ratio name. Cherry said he was getting used to a new business name. “It still feels a little funny after 20 years,” he quipped on a break between meetings.

The firms became acquainted with each other when Ratio undertook projects at Duke University in Durham, N.C. Both are based in capital cities and have similar service delivery and practice models. “As they were looking at this market, their strategy was to find a compatible, strong firm to align with,” Cherry notes. CHA, AIA North Carolina’s 2009 Firm of the Year, fit the bill. “They wanted to merge with somebody who could keep doing what they were doing.”

For his part, Cherry felt the merger would give his firm an advantage. “Aligning myself with a strong regional Midwestern firm was a way to leverage all the good will and expertise that we have here to be more compete with larger national firms by expanding its geographic reach and increasing service capabilities. We hope the merger offers an opportunity to grow.”