Writer: Max Crampton-Thomas
2 min read August 2019 — Growth in the Tampa Bay construction industry has not only benefited construction and real estate development companies in the area, it has also been a massive plus for engineering firms. Quality development and construction is dependent upon the availability of highly professional and proficient engineers, and demand can quickly outweigh supply. Invest: Tampa Bay recently sat down with Mark Hardy, vice president and regional manager for Universal Engineering Sciences’s Tampa Bay office. Among the many topics covered, Hardy discussed the growth in demand for building inspection services, a growing focus on environmental sustainability and what the next year will hold for his office.
Which of your services are seeing the most growth in demand?
We are seeing tremendous growth in demand for our building inspection services. A new law signed by Gov. DeSantis, allows companies like ours to provide plan review and inspections that municipalities would normally conduct. While the private provider option has been available since 2002, the new law reduces the time frame and cost that this would normally entail. As a private firm we can help accelerate the process during a time when municipalities are overwhelmed.
How much of a focus is environmental sustainability to your clients?
As new projects get underway, they are hitting some roadblocks because they are infringing on wetlands. We have hired an individual who specializes in wetlands and endangered species so we can better assist clients in finding the balance between being able to do a new development and still remain cognizant of those environmental areas. Another area where we are seeing a lot of expansion is renewable energy projects, like solar farms; we are getting frequent calls to provide expertise on how to get them planned and constructed.
What does the next 12 months look like for your office?
We have a lot of projects on the books that haven’t started yet but are on the horizon for the new year. This includes a new performing arts center and new contracts with Pasco County Schools, Hillsborough County Public Schools and Hillsborough County for infrastructure improvements. This year, we surpassed 100 employees at this office and we will look to build off that momentum. The remainder of 2019 and 2020 are shaping up to be really great years for the company.
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