It may sound like a law firm, but Burns & McDonnell provides construction services, not legal advice. A top design/build firm in the US, the company provides engineering, architectural, construction, environmental remediation, and consulting services. It is one of the leading constructors of electric transmission and distribution infrastructure, airports, and fossil fuel and chemical plants. Burns & McDonnell also serves the government, manufacturing, health care, telecommunications, transportation, and water and wastewater sectors, among others. Employee-owned Burns & McDonnell has about 30 offices throughout the US and one location in Qatar.
In 2010 Burns & McDonnell acquired Kansas City-based bridge designer Harrington & Corelyou, which operates as a subsidiary specializing in fixed and movable highway and railway bridges. Burns & McDonnell usually doesn't not pursue acquisitions as a way to achieve growth. However, it couldn't pass up the opportunity to acquire such an established company in its hometown. The deal was only the second acquisition in Burns & McDonnell history and the first since 1983.
The company is growing in other ways too. In 2012 Burns & McDonnell expanded its Smart Grid Laboratory, a facility used to test and develop technology used to modernize the power grid. The company also created transportation and water infrastructure divisions in 2011. The group is preparing for increased investment in infrastructure projects and roads and bridges work.
The company also has expanded its presence in places such as Dallas, Fort Worth, and Houston, which are markets with strong demand for engineering and construction services. As a whole, Burns & McDonnell plans to add around 1,000 jobs by 2013. The growth is based on an increase in demand for large-scale infrastructure projects and capital improvements in the public and private sectors. Key growth markets include electrical transmission and distribution, air quality control, heat and power facilities, nuclear power plant upgrades, food processing and petrochemical processing plant upgrades.
In 2012 Burns & McDonnell agreed to pay $10 million to settle a case that alleged that one of the company's clients provided toxic fertizlier to farmers in Missouri.
Burns & McDonnell was founded in Kansas City in 1898 by Clinton Burns and Robert McDonnell. The firm's first major project (secured in 1900) was a combined water and light plant for Iola, Kansas. Burns & McDonnell has since worked on a variety of projects including a new wind energy project along the Snake River in Washington for Puget Energy, the US Central Command headquarters at the MacDill Air Force Base, and a production complex for The Kansas City Star. – less