Bowman Looks to a Strong Future
Growth and change play imperative roles in every company’s success, and the mindset a company adopts regarding both of these elements can very well dictate whether it survives, or fails to thrive in a turbulent economy. Bowman Consulting works diligently to make sure its future success is handled with care as it moves forward, treating clients with respect and diplomacy, while ensuring its employees are included as valid and respected members of the team.
Founded in 1995 and based in Fairfax, VA, Bowman Consulting has worked on hundreds of successful projects, each presenting both unique challenges and exciting opportunities. Bowman delivers real estate, energy and infrastructure solutions to public and private markets across the country, with services such as engineering, survey and mapping, subsurface utility engineering (SUE), planning and landscape architecture, environmental, construction management, transportation engineering, right of way and land services, water/wastewater and utility coordination to name a few.
Experienced professionals strive to provide unequalled resources within the fields of engineering, land surveying, environmental science, traffic, and water and wastewater, with more than 80 percent of the company’s business coming from repeat customers — a statistic to be proud of.
Even with almost 25 years to their credit and more than 30 offices spread across the United States, the company refuses to rest on its laurels, continually pushing to meet and exceed the needs of its clients, addressing potential concerns and working to create a future as successful and diverse as possible.
“Qualities that are most attributable to our success are our nimble nature and the entrepreneurial approach that we take,” says Scott Delgado. “Each employee is empowered to pursue and chase opportunities and take responsibility for advancing their growth with the firm.”
With approximately 600 employees, Bowman wants to make sure each individual knows they are not only appreciated, but are supported when it comes to their lives, their futures and their educational goals.
Known as an adept and energetic firm with a results-oriented attitude, Bowman was originally launched by a five-person team, and has since been recognized as one of the fastest-growing consulting firms in both its region and the industry, with accomplishments in a national, diversified project portfolio.
Notable awards include the Discovery Elementary School project in Arlington, Virginia (NET ZERO) which has won the 2016 Project Distinction Award from the Association of Learning Environments, the 2017 Special Jury Recognition Award from the Virginia Chapter of the Association for Learning Environments, the 2017 Platinum Design Award from the Virginia School Boards Association, the 2017 Presidential Citation for Sustainability from AIA DC, and the 2018 First Place Academic Project from the Virginia Energy Efficiency Leadership Awards.
It’s this kind of growth and impressive success that continues to launch Bowman into a bright future.
“I think part of our DNA is growth, and continuing to push ourselves to grow,” says Delgado. “Even from the beginning of the year to now, Bowman has hired 100 people to help with the underground power line effort helping with the intent to minimize bad outages during storms.”
Climate change and weather issues are playing a huge role in the construction industry right now, and rightfully so, with worrisome environmental damage being seen here and around the world affecting communities and businesses.
“A changing climate means our industry is changing, too,” says Delgado. “We need to be positioned to handle projects in a crumbling infrastructure. We need to understand the environment and climate change, and what that means for coastal communities and how we can get involved, while keeping ourselves nimble so we can pivot to meet client and market needs.”
Bowman “grew up” in residential land development, working primarily in the private sector for developments in Washington, DC, and has since expanded into Arizona, Texas and Colorado, providing service lines, heavy highway infrastructure, gas transportation, mining, and pipelines, which is a significant achievement from a company longevity standpoint, says Delgado.
He notes that economic downturns and upturns also factor in the obstacles the company faces — both 2008 and 2009 presented a tough time for everyone.
“A big accomplishment came out of that time, though, and we expanded our geographic footprint,” says Delgado. “We are in multiple states nationwide now, and in a better position to ride out the next downturn, when it comes.”
Bowman is a company that is continually looking forward, not content to just bask in accomplishments, but to prepare for what lies ahead.
“We are a company that stresses our bottom line, tracking metrics and measuring success,” says Delgado. “We focus on growth and the bottom line, and that’s a big definition of what success is. But, success also needs to be measured outside of number crunching. Success comes in our clients’ abilities to achieve desires, such as building new roadways, seeing recreation facilities opening up, using the playgrounds and retail facilities. When clients can see the projects they helped work on, and have a sense of accomplishment using that facility and having it grow, that measures success as well.”
It’s that personal relationship with clients and customers that also fuels Bowman’s success now and down the road, and those types of relationships they foster and are happy to focus on, according to Delgado.
“With clients and customers, relationships are everything,” he says. “Our relationships are deep and long-term. We strive to get and maintain a personal relationship, with long-lasting trust.”
School-oriented projects, ones that benefit students and communities and also teach young minds, are a particular interest for Bowman.
“School fields tend to get trampled, and ruined in heavy rain, so artificial turf can make a huge difference, even in bad weather,” says Delgado. “And if the community can help with a project and then use it afterwards, that’s a huge measure of success.”
And environmentally, Bowman works hard to stay at the forefront of design and accountability, as Delgado affirms that environmental issues are always bigger components of engineering site work and business. The company works to ensure their projects don’t significantly change the characteristics of the land, embracing low-impact design technology, allowing water to be infiltrated back into streams instead of hitting asphalt.
Buildings with green roofs provide storm-water runoff and also help with heat exposure and minimizing heat, improving AC for buildings. A team of engineers and scientists work together to provide environmental engineering services, natural resource surveys and assessments, environmental compliance, and environmental planning and management.
Professional staff with more than 20 years’ experience in environmental conservation and environmental protection, means Bowman always works closely with clients to ensure that its solutions are within regulation, combining broad technical expertise with cost-effective solutions regardless of project complexity or size.
“We focus a lot on low-impact design,” Delgado says. “The sites we are involved with meet and exceed what’s required for jurisdiction, and do so in a way that caters to users and clients.”
With schools, Bowman also strives to create facilities that can be used as learning environments, such as outdoor classrooms with stadium seating that teach students about rainwater and various environmental issues.
When they’re not busy designing, Bowman employees are giving back to the community when and where possible, with each of its offices participating in different types of community and charitable events, including environmental clean-ups, cancer runs and toy drives.
But in the end, it comes down to the personal relationships Bowman works hard to build and maintain not only with clients but with employees as well, that will ensure future success.
“We’re a very growth oriented firm, with an entrepreneurial spirit, and we want our relationship with employees to encourage them to buy into this approach and feel empowered and feel autonomy, find the passion that drives them.”
This exciting company has exciting times ahead, with numerous opportunities for employees, and multiple programs for career growth, and ambitions for future success.