US-based engineering consultant HDR is buying the UK's Hurley Palmer Flatt Group (HPF), and gaining data center expertise.

In the UK, the business will trade as HDR | Hurley Palmer Flatt Group.

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Paul Flatt, HPF CEO, becomes HDR MD – Hurley Palmer Flatt

A strategic fit

HPF was established in 1968, and has been building mission critical facilities and "smart" buildings including data centers for some time. The acquisition also includes Hurley Palmer Flett's recently acquired subsidiaries Andrew Reid Bradbrook Consulting and Concentre Consulting, which cover mechanical and electrical engineering, civil engineering and building infrastructure management (BIM) respectively. They will continue to do business prefixed by the HDR brand.

Although both firms have a global presence, DCD understands that HDR does more business in North America, while HPF has concentrated on EMEA and APAC, so the companies expect to find synergies. HDR is an employee-owned consultancy which was founded in Omaha Nebraska more than 100 years ago and now has 10,000 staff in 200 locations. HPF has 500 staff in 10 offices.

Despite the difference in size, HPF may be a welcome injection of data center expertise, as its critical systems page shows a long list of recent projects. By contrast, HDR's data center page looks a bit dusty, showing four projects. Three of these seem to be around seven years old: a data center for the National Cancer Institute in Frederick, and two others in HDR's home town of Omaha. The other projects was never built: the proposed Kolos data center in Norway won architectural awards with its designs, but failed to get backing, with the site eventually scavenged by Bitcoin miners.

“HDR is the perfect strategic fit for Hurley Palmer Flatt Group,” said Paul Flatt, currently CEO of HPF Group, who will join HDR as Managing Director.

“By combining our teams of professionals, we will develop a stronger building engineering practice globally,” said HDR Chairman and CEO Eric Keen.