Building Relationships

Hidi Rae Consulting Engineers

“We’ve always been after smart, sustainable growth,” says Jamie Hidi, President at Hidi Rae Consulting Engineers. “We are in a lot of sectors and will be rounding out our services, and in particular, growing the new ones to the point where they are equal to our other ones in terms of the market.” With a staff of about 130 individuals, a head office in Toronto, and branch offices in Calgary, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the company continues to foster the same commitment to clients as those established by Jamie’s father, company founder and Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Hidi.

Over the course of a career spanning well over half a century, Andrew Hidi has worked on numerous prestigious projects since graduating from the University of Toronto with his Mechanical Engineering degree in 1959, and forming Hidi Rae in 1975. Many of these projects – such as the First Canadian Place, the Manulife Centre, the Exchange Tower, Woodbine Shopping Centre and Erin Mills Shopping Centre – are known not only across Canada, but worldwide. With professional affiliations including PEO, LEED AP, and Designated Consulting Engineers, the company continues to strengthen its roster as a full-service mechanical, electrical, communications, security and commissioning consultancy provider.

Like his father before him, Jamie Hidi has worked on a number of highly respected projects in Canada and abroad since joining the firm in 1991. Carefully cultivating a team of the best and the brightest, the company continues to foster long-standing relationships with clients such as Cadillac Fairview, Rogers, Oxford Properties, George Brown College, EllisDon, PCL, and Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, to name but a few. Continually delivering quality projects, Jamie says, comes from understanding client needs and hiring the appropriate skilled professional engineers, engineering technicians, and designers.

Understanding Client Needs

“We don’t have a separate project management group, since our engineers manage their projects as well,” explains Mr. Hidi. “We feel that in order to properly manage a job, you have to understand the technical side of it, and an engineer needs to understand what we are doing and not just be an independent project manager.”

To ensure all projects are carried out according to schedule, Hidi Rae Consulting Engineers has sophisticated quality control systems in place. Mechanical, electrical, and communications systems are reviewed to verify they are installed as designed, and to meet the needs of the owner. With a thorough understanding of all systems, Hidi Rae’s customer support teams are available to assist and ensure the final project is operated in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

Active in a diverse range of sectors, Hidi Rae is able to design large and often complex projects, and has the ability to maintain the Principals’ constant input throughout the design and construction of every job, reaching across the hospitality, residential, retail, commercial, institutional, health care, mission critical, pharmaceutical, sports and entertainment, and transportation sectors. Maintaining core values of integrity for all clients, reliability, accuracy and care, and overseeing every aspect from concept to design and construction, the company has built strong relationships in Canada and abroad. By having a senior member of the company’s management team maintain direct involvement all the way from project inception to completion, Hidi Rae has earned respect from partners and customers internationally.

“We have clients who have referred us to other projects around the globe based on successes we’ve had in different markets,” says Sandi Banerjee, the company’s Chief Operating Officer. The company’s sheer size enables Hidi Rae to provide a wide range of services, including mechanical, electrical, lighting, communications and security design, and commissioning.

“In terms of our more recent work, we added a security division, which is growing and doing very well,” says Mr. Hidi. “It’s not just electronic security; it goes well beyond that into physical security, threat assessments, and all other aspects of security. Our Commissioning Group is also recent in terms of what we have added, and there is a lot of existing building stock that has to be revisited – whether it’s just upgraded or re-commissioned – those are sectors that we are doing a fair bit of work in, and are continuing to grow.”

Through its dedicated group of professionals (operating as HRCx Building Services), Hidi Rae offers a range of commissioning services. These include new building commissioning, existing building commissioning and retro commissioning, compliance with ASHRAE guidelines, and LEED Fundamental and Enhanced commissioning. “Almost all of our active Principals on the M&E side are LEED accredited professionals,” says Mr. Hidi, “as it is important to understand sustainable design, all the components involved, and be able to offer suitable, smart solutions. “Even if they don’t proceed down the full LEED process with all of the paperwork, you can still implement a lot of those ideas into designs.”

With decades of industry knowledge, Hidi Rae has developed a thorough understanding of mechanical systems within a building, and how these systems impact all areas, from fire protection systems to clean water, energy, indoor air quality and more. By successfully engineering optimal environments and creating state-of-the-art systems, the company is able to develop solutions for clients which balance performance against capital and operating costs.

Just as carefully planned and intelligently designed mechanical systems are vital to a structure, so are electrical, lighting, and communications design. These and other systems play a vital role in the everyday lives of occupants, and must be functional, safe, efficient and cost-effective. By remaining abreast of the latest emerging technologies, trends, and engineering methods, Hidi Rae ensures that completed projects will match the client’s vision.

In recent years, there has been an increasing focus on environmentally friendly green initiatives in the building industry, with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program paving the way. A third-party certification program, LEED is internationally accepted, and serves as a benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. Across North America, more projects are adopting LEED guidelines, changing not only the way they are designed but also constructed, with the goal of buildings which are healthier and have reduced operating costs and a reduced carbon footprint, using less water and energy.

Current Projects

At present, Hidi Rae is engaged in a number of exciting projects. Earlier this year, the company was awarded mechanical consulting services for the Redevelopment of the Taber and Raymond Health Centres with Group2 Architecture and Interior Design, which will ultimately consolidate community health services and be the first of many projects at other rural facilities by Alberta Health Services. In May, the company was on hand for the groundbreaking at the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus for the new Innovation Complex. Scheduled to open in September of 2014, the new four-level, $35 million Innovation Complex will house the Institute for Management and Innovation (IMI), which will serve as a unique new business education model, combining management studies with key industry sectors. Serving to train coming generations of innovators and entrepreneurs, the facility will also provide space for the Office of the Registrar, the Li Koon Chun Finance Learning Centre, a rotunda that will serve as an event and social gathering space and expanded accommodation for the Departments of Economics and Management within a 6,300 square metre complex. Additionally, the Innovation Complex will be designed to LEED silver standards, and include environmentally sustainable initiatives such as a green roof, interior glazing to harvest natural light, stone wall cladding, terrazzo floors and an oak ceiling.

One of the largest recent projects for Hidi Rae is the Athletes’ Village for the upcoming Pan Am Games in Toronto, which will be home to thousands of international athletes, coaches, and officials who will attend the international sporting event. Successfully underway, the project – which has an overall budget of $1.4 billion – is a realization of the efforts of designers, contractors, and various levels of government who are building the site for the games, which will take place in August of 2015.

The future certainly looks bright for the 38-year-old company. Carrying on the measured growth of its founders, Jamie Hidi says that the company in investigating other locations around the world, providing the location is right for the business and its clients. “When we opened our Dubai office,” he says, “it was on the heels of some opportunities when we went there, so we are always looking at those options. We are very excited about our Calgary office, which just added a great senior electrical Principal there, which really rounds out that office for us, and we think that office is going to do great.”

July 19, 2018, 3:35 PM EDT

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