Challenges: Draper Aden Associates is a leading engineering firm in Virginia. It’s tackled a number of innovative and significant projects over the past four decades. Although the firm has received some recognition, it’s never been award the state’s top engineering prize: the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Virginia Pinnacle Award. This award recognizes the best of the best and can serve as a strong business development tool. Winning the award also can help enhance existing client/owner relationships. Draper engaged Commonwealth Partnerships (CWP) to develop an award submission strategy that would finally nab the firm this coveted honor.
Solutions: Working with Draper, CWP identified an engineering project in the final stages of construction that included some truly innovative techniques and relied heavily on virtual construction technology. This adaptive reuse of the historic East End Theater in Richmond wasn’t the biggest or most expensive project, but it had a great story. CWP conducted extensive research on the historic theater and conducted lengthy interviews with members of the project team to better understand the challenges faced and the impact of this redevelopment. We then crafted a compelling story about the project and its significance. CWP led the development of nominations materials and shepherded the submission process from draft to completion.
Results: The submission won the 2015 ACEC Virginia Pinnacle Award. The project was repurposed for the national ACEC competition and was recognized as a finalist. Not only did the project win the big award, but we worked with Draper to repurpose the award win for multiple media placements that highlighted the firm and its innovative engineering practices. Additionally, this recognition further solidified the firm’s relationship with the owner and they continue to work together on projects.