Mergers and acquisitions in the A/E industry continue as Edmonton, Alberta–based Stantec has signed a letter of intent to add Philadelphia-based Burt Hill as part of a strategy to become a leading global architecture practice. Burt Hill is a 600-person firm with 12 U.S. offices, plus an outpost in Abu Dhabi, and a diversified client base, including healthcare institutions, colleges and universities, technology companies, government bodies, real estate developers, and nonprofits.

The announcement comes just two weeks after Stantec revealed its acquisition of San Francisco–based healthcare specialists Anshen + Allen. "The addition of Burt Hill will bring to Stantec a wealth of experience in the markets we've targeted and give us a much stronger building design presence in the eastern United States to complement the practice we're developing on the West Coast with Anshen + Allen," Bob Gomes, Stantec president and CEO, said in a press release.

“Stantec's vision is to become and remain a top 10 global design firm,” the press release noted. “The Company has announced plans to acquire nine firms this year, strengthening nearly every practice and market in which it operates in North America.”

Publicly held Stantec has about 10,000 employees in more than 150 locations throughout North America.  Services include planning, engineering, architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, environmental sciences, project management, and more.

The trend of acquisitions similar to Stantec’s additions of Anshen + Allen and Burt Hill may not be over. A/E business consultant Ian Rusk of Rusk O’Brien Gido + Partner says, “It’s a buyer’s market, with publicly traded firms flush with cash and a lot of value available in firms from the size of Burt Hill on down.”  Stay tuned.