Expect Development in NoVa to Expand Beyond Data Center Alley: Q&A with Bohler Engineering

LEESBURG, VA — Bohler Engineering arms clients with critical information to make profitable real estate decisions and create designs that deliver exceptional results. From early stage concepts to detailed project closeouts, they own their role in the development and construction process and operate in clients’ best interest. With outstanding, driven professionals and more than 20 locations from Texas to New England, they provide consulting and technical design services to developers and their partners across all commercial, institutional and residential real estate sectors. Bohler will be a featured sponsor at CAPRE’s Mission Critical Summits in Leesburg, VA. In preparation, CAPRE connected with Bohler to learn what Bohler will bring to the summits as well as what they’re looking forward to learning and exploring.

CAPRE: What’s the latest at Bohler Engineering? What’s your strategy for the rest of 2019?

Bohler: We are at the tail end of our 2020Vision Project, which is an effort to align our business operations with our purpose of empowering the ambitious to become the accomplished. We began the project by asking our clients and employees about what matters most to them in their experience with Bohler and are currently in the process of implementing some of their ideas. Our ultimate goal is to provide an unrivaled experience for everyone who works with us.

Through the process we’ve defined our culture, called The Bohler Way. Now we’re focused on living The Bohler Way daily to create opportunities for our team and clients.

CAPRE: What is Bohler Engineering looking forward to about CAPRE’s Women of Mission Critical Summit September 9 & CAPRE’s Mid-Atlantic Data Center Summit September 10?

Bohler: Bohler is committed to recruiting, retaining, and developing women in leadership.  We established a Women in Engineering group dedicated to doing just that. So, we’re very excited about the focus on women in Mission Critical and continuing that conversation — it ties into so much of what we’re doing.

Keith Simpson, PE, Associate, Bohler Engineering

The second day has topics applying directly to the work we do. Specifically, we are eager to hear from the “Ashburn and Northern Virginia’s Tremendous Growth”, “Hyperscale: Challenges & Opportunities”, and “The Acceleration of Colocation in 2019” panels. These topics speak directly to the future work opportunities for new development and redevelopment in the Northern Virginia Market where our Mission Critical development team is based.  Overall, we are excited for the networking over the two days, as we want to continue to create and build relationships with those in the industry.

CAPRE: What is the most exciting opportunity in the Mid-Atlantic right now? 

Bohler: We are still seeing a lot of opportunities throughout Loudoun, Fairfax and Prince William Counties. Development will continue to shift away from the core Data Center Alley as vacant land is developed.  Once the sub-sea cables land in Virginia Beach, the corridor between Virginia Beach and Northern Virginia will become more attractive to development as the various network paths converge with each other, the power grid, and available land.  Real estate value and jurisdictional tax incentives throughout this corridor will ultimately offset any initial higher investments to provide the necessary infrastructure for power, fiber, and water.

CAPRE: What is the biggest trend in your space driving demand for your services?

Megan Baird, PE, Bohler Engineering

Bohler: The biggest trend driving the demand for Bohler’s services is related to the industry’s growth across Loudoun, Prince William, and Fairfax Counties.  With increased demand and reduced land availability, the market is adjusting by maximizing smaller sites using multi-story buildings. With increased development activity and tenant delivery demands also comes a growing need for innovative and collaborative design teams to move projects forward.  This provides opportunity for Bohler to assist a larger number of diverse development teams.  Because Bohler has grown our Mission Critical team from within our local organization, we benefit these teams by leveraging our jurisdictional relationships to solve both technical and county procedural hurdles while minimizing project delays.

CAPRE: Where does the industry have room to improve with an eye toward 2020 and beyond?

Bohler: With the dramatic spike in land costs and so few sites remaining, there are multiple opportunities for improvement.  The industry will need to continue to increase capacity within the limited land, which means buildings will grow taller in search of more server space. Additionally, the industry will need to continue to find innovative ways of reducing cooling costs and the associated infrastructure.  One way to reduce water and power demand while accounting for additional server space with the same amount of infrastructure is for the industry to embrace the cutting- edge cooling technology that exists today.  When one large player takes the first leap, the rest will likely follow.

With a crystal-clear purpose in the lead, Bohler has embarked on the 2020Vision Project – an effort designed to create new levels of employee and client engagement through an unrivaled brand experience. This means doing more of what is helping clients to win in today’s market and also being self-critical in the spirit of continuous improvement. They are asking clients what matters to them and building an organization around the talent, solutions and creativity that redefines value.

Keith Simpson, PE and Megan Baird, PE contributed to this interview on behalf of Bohler Engineering. Simpson is an Associate in Bohler’s Herndon, VA Office. He has over 20 years of experience in all aspects of civil engineering design and client management in various market sectors including, mission critical, residential, industrial, and program management developments throughout several counties in Northern Virginia, West Virginia, and Delaware. Baird is a Project Manager in Bohler’s Herndon, VA office. She has nearly 10 years of civil engineering design and project management experience and brings a wealth of knowledge and problem-solving abilities to each project. She has extensive project experience in mission critical, industrial, mixed-use, and retail shopping center projects in various counties throughout Northern Virginia, West Virginia, and Delaware.

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