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Sparling partners clients with market experts

Office expansion brings expertise, fresh ideas to AEC industry

Sparling, the nation's largest specialty electrical engineering and technology consulting firm, is now in San Diego. The nationally recognized firm may be new to the city, but with combined industry expertise and a unique suite of specialized services, Sparling satisfies a niche in the AEC industry by offering strategic consulting services and novel company programs that benefit clients and their projects.

As consultants and engineers, Sparling's model is to understand the client's business and become an extension of their organization, providing realistic and cost-effective solutions that accentuate architecture and facilities with a future forward look at the form, function and cost of ownership of a project.

As information technology consultants for Platte Valley Medical Center, Sparling planned, designed and coordinated the information and communications technology systems for the new $138 million hospital campus.

"Instead of sitting across a table and explaining how our firm works, we explain how our business will affect our client's business," said Jeff Hankin, principal of Sparling's San Diego office. "It's a matter of understanding market trends and our client's needs and then positioning ourselves to positively influence project solutions and outcomes."

Harley Ellis Devereaux recently selected Sparling as the electrical engineering consultant at the Sharp Grossmont East Tower Nursing Renovation project for the Grossmont Healthcare District. Molly Scanlon, Healthcare Studio Leader, Western Region for Harley Ellis Devereaux, said, "Sparling is a special firm with its national health care expertise, broad OSHPD experience, and now, a local San Diego office. Sparling has captured everything clients want in an electrical engineering firm -- creative ideas, great service and competitive fees."

Sparling also engages in continuous research including quarterly market focus groups and yearly retreats that offer participants a forum where trends, articles, research and other hot topics can be discussed and then taken back to staff, clients and projects. Last year, Barbara Trehearne, executive director of nursing at Group Health Cooperative in Seattle, Wash., spoke about leading trends facing the health care industry such as the growing nursing and physician shortages and increasing frequency and risks associated with dispensing errors in prescription drugs.

"The more we know about our owners, their facilities and their business, the better we can work together with them to make their facilities and goals stand apart," said Hankin.

In addition to the health care industry, Sparling has extensive experience working within the higher education market. Through thorough research and collaboration within the market, Sparling understands that one key trend facing all higher education is that professors, students and administrators want information on demand -- anywhere, anytime.

The result is that campuses, buildings and open space environments have to encompass the infrastructure and bandwidth to not only cater to local information and local users, but global information and all users collaborating together in academic and research environments.

Equally important to staying abreast of current research, Sparling offers a unique company program to its clients and owners called Value Innovation Program (VIP). This unique program is designed for internal teams to present value-added and inventive ideas considered for a specific project.

"When our clients hire Sparling," Hankin said, "we want to ensure them that they have access to the depth of resources our 160-plus person firm has to offer."

Held during the design development phase, each VIP is an open, collaborative forum held either at Sparling offices or the client site, and is a communication of ideas that allows clients to gain a better understanding of the design direction and how it measures against project goals and budgets. The forums consist of a collaborative effort of project leaders, subject matter experts, clients, design team and industry experts. Sparling's most recent VIP took place with Shriner's Hospital in Portland, Ore.

Sparling also maintains a leading role in development and design of environments and facilities in many other vertical markets, such as life sciences, commercial, retail, mixed use, hospitality and entertainment, to name a few.

Having just celebrated its 60th year anniversary, Sparling is currently in the midst of growing its national reputation as a leading integrated consulting and design firm, and is pleased to be located in San Diego and ideally situated to serve the San Diego County AEC community.

Baker is with the Monday Group.

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