'Group' name reflects team approach to complex woes
July 01, 2002

By Staff
Appeared in Building Design & Construction

In an effort to redefine the 74-year-old firm, Syska Hennessy Group changed its name this year to reflect a new, "full-service firm," which includes consulting, engineering, technology and construction services. In 2001, when the firm's revenue exceeded $100 million, it consolidated its businesses, including Syska & Hennessy Engineers, OnlinEnvironments, Electronic Systems Associates and Construction Engineering Management to make up the group.

"We're now taking a facility through its life cycle, from inception through construction and operations. We've built up the expertise in each of those areas," says Chairman John Hennessy. "We not only design but master plan the entire infrastructure as well."

According to Hennessy, the industry has previously looked for "single answers to complex problems," but with this growing industry trend, Hennessy believes that firms like his will now be able to create a better and more thorough overall product while strengthening their client relationships.

Currently, Syska Hennessy is involved in the redesign of the mechanical and electrical systems at the Pentagon, which were damaged by the Sept. 11 attacks. According to Hennessy, the attacks have changed the industry in a specific way.

"I think people are now looking at their facilities to understand vulnerabilities that we didn't think of before," says Hennessy. "We used to understand what the threats were by looking at the building; now we look for what outside threats could be. It was always possible that someone could fly a plane into a building. We just never saw it before."

Syska Hennessy Group is currently involved in the restoration and upgrade for Verizon Wireless of 140 West Street, one of the buildings adjacent to the World Trade Center which was significantly damaged by the collapse of the towers.

In the future, Syska Hennessy looks to its renovation of the United Nations Complex in New York, an estimated $900 million project, with construction to start in 2003.