For more than 20 years the Zweig Group Hot Firm List has recognized the 100 fastest-growing architecture, engineering, planning, and environmental consulting firms in North America. We're pleased to announce that we cracked the Top Ten in our first time out: Dennis Group debuted on the 2019 list at #3!

Zweig compiles the top 100 fastest growing companies by a score comprised of both dollar and percentage revenue growth rates for a three-year period. To be eligible, companies must derive at least half their revenue from the AEC industry, report $1 million in revenue, and be in existence for five years.

We’ve made rapid growth over the last few years. Just look at our new offices in São Paulo, Battle Creek, and Toronto and our partner and new service line in Portugal. And we can boast year-over-year revenue growth driven by repeat work from longstanding clients as well as new relationships. In the immortal words of Paris Hilton:

That's hot! 

See the full Hot Firm List ranking here!

Looking to bring the heat for your next project?

Tell us what you need!

NationalSafetyMonth_Week1_hazardrecognition_001_imagecrop

National Safety Month:

If you’ve ever been kept up at night worrying about a big upcoming task, or if you’ve dreaded a tough conversation, you know that humans are exceptionally good at picking out the worst-case scenario and focusing on it with laser precision.

Advice blogs will tell you to try to consider more positive outcomes. I’m here to tell you that your highly-tuned pessimism is a manifestation of your sense of self-preservation and you should listen to it – at least when it comes to safety.

Connect the dots.

Recognizing the potential hazard is a good first step. The next is to contextualize it.

A concrete floor might be flat and clear – but a dewy morning makes it a slip hazard. An especially hot day can lead to fatigue, dehydration, and heat exhaustion – or even heat stroke. A hard frost overnight can mean slip and fall injuries thanks to ice the next day.

Your observational skills will be most tested by hidden or unobtrusive hazards, such as a burned-out lightbulb or a clogged exhaust fan. Regular workplace inspections, like the daily inspections conducted by Dennis Group safety managers, can identify hazards and mitigate them, but observant contractors can often spot and report any missed dormant or potential hazards.

It's all in the mindset.

You might feel like Chicken Little waiting for the sky to fall but being aware and attuned isn’t about seeing dangers everywhere: it’s about cultivating a regular habit of active observation. Instead of just absorb the sights around you at a work site, remember to ask yourself what if? and what else?

At Dennis Group, our safety managers take a systematic approach to finding and mitigating safety hazards by creating a daily Job Safety Analysis and reviewing it with contractors in the field.

 Soon, spotting hazards will become second nature – and you and your site will be that much safer.

Our safety record is one of the best in the business.

Find out how we keep our worksites - and your projects - safe for everyone.

A male worker wearing work boots in a warehouse walking into a liquid spill on the floor.

National Safety Month:

Now that you’re on the alert for hazards, let’s address some of the most common…and how to avoid them.

Sure, Charlie Chaplin slipping on a banana peel is hilarious, but falls can cause severe injury on the worksite and are the second leading cause of on-the-job deaths (about 17%). Read on to see how you can keep from falling down this slippery slope.

Don't get tripped up.

Ladders, rugs, slick walking surfaces, cluttered floors, and poor lighting: they all mean slips and trips.

Good housekeeping can minimize the likelihood of a fall by clearing the worksite of clutter and cleaning up spills. Burned-out lights should be quickly replaced so workers have a clear line of sight. Consider replacing rugs that wrinkle up underfoot with durable peel-and-stick mats to provide better traction.

Kick workplace falls to the curb.

One-quarter-inch trip lips are difficult to see and easy to catch with the toe of a shoe, sending workers sprawling. Make sure to clearly delineate trip lips, step-ups, and curbs so that workers can easily spot them and make the necessary adjustments.

SIR slip hazard

Keep the worksite clear of clutter that could trip you up, and be sure to wear appropriate shoes (in this case, tap). 

Stay focused.

Sometimes the hazard isn’t the worksite; sometimes it’s our own inability to pay attention. Workers who are distracted by texting or looking at their phones or who aren’t watching where they’re going can take a bad spill even if the above hazards are mitigated.

Encourage workers to stop until they’ve finished with their message or wait until they’re in the break room. A focused work environment isn’t just more productive; it’s also safer.

Make it a habit.

Dennis Group Safety Managers always include slips, trips, and falls on our daily Job Site Analysis. We provide Job Hazards posters to help workers make a habit of identifying accidents waiting to happen, and how to mitigate them.

Extension cord laying in the hallway? Hang it up. Job site slippery with mud? Wear shoes with good traction and keep walkways clear. And be sure to review the daily Job Site Analysis with contractors in the field to address any concerns and keep up the commitment to a safe site.

GK rain and curb

Clearly delineate curbs and trip lips so they're easy to see. Keep the worksite well-lit (and, ideally, rain-free).

Our Safety Record is one of the best in the business

Find out how we keep our worksites - and your projects - safe for everyone.

NationalSafetyMonth_Week1_hazardrecognition_001_imagecrop

National Safety Month:

If you’ve ever been kept up at night worrying about a big upcoming task, or if you’ve dreaded a tough conversation, you know that humans are exceptionally good at picking out the worst-case scenario and focusing on it with laser precision.

Advice blogs will tell you to try to consider more positive outcomes. I’m here to tell you that your highly-tuned pessimism is a manifestation of your sense of self-preservation and you should listen to it – at least when it comes to safety.

Look into the future.

The key to recognizing hazards is foresight. There’s no crystal ball involved, just one question:

What if?

What if when you take a tight turn around the next corner, and someone else is turning around it at the same time? What if one or both of you have your hands full?

Observing a potential hazard gives you the ability to avoid it – like by taking that corner at a wider turn – and ensure it’s mitigated for the safety of everyone on the worksite.

DG Safety Tip:

Housekeeping isn’t just for spring cleaning. A disorderly, dirty workplace can cause serious safety hazards, from clutter and debris causing a trip and fall hazard to rising workplace stress and plummeting morale.

DG Safety Tip:

Having fresh eyes and different perspectives on the worksite can be the difference between a missed or a mitigated hazard. Encourage contractors to be vocal about any hazards they spot or other safety concerns.

Connect the dots.

Recognizing the potential hazard is a good first step. The next is to contextualize it.

A concrete floor might be flat and clear – but a dewy morning makes it a slip hazard. An especially hot day can lead to fatigue, dehydration, and heat exhaustion – or even heat stroke. A hard frost overnight can mean slip and fall injuries thanks to ice the next day.

Your observational skills will be most tested by hidden or unobtrusive hazards, such as a burned-out lightbulb or a clogged exhaust fan. Regular workplace inspections, like the daily inspections conducted by Dennis Group safety managers, can identify hazards and mitigate them, but observant contractors can often spot and report any missed dormant or potential hazards.

Keep an eye out for these common hazards:

Chemical: compressed gases, solvents, lead
Physical: noise, vibration, heat, cold, radiation
Ergonomic: poor workplace design, jobs with repetition, force, and poor posture
Biological: bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites, insects
Machine: moving parts like rotating shafts, belts, pulleys, blades, saws
Energy: pneumatic or hydraulic pressure, electricity, steam, gravity
Material Handling: manual and mechanical handling like lifting, lift trucks, conveyors

It's all in the mindset.

You might feel like Chicken Little waiting for the sky to fall but being aware and attuned isn’t about seeing dangers everywhere: it’s about cultivating a regular habit of active observation. Instead of just absorb the sights around you at a work site, remember to ask yourself what if? and what else?

At Dennis Group, our safety managers take a systematic approach to finding and mitigating safety hazards by creating a daily Job Safety Analysis and reviewing it with contractors in the field.

 Soon, spotting hazards will become second nature – and you and your site will be that much safer.

Our safety record is one of the best in the business.

Find out how we keep our worksites - and your projects - safe for everyone.

5 Times By-Products Made You More Sustainable

And one time we helped.

1. Treating burns with fish skin

For tilapia farms, fish skin is a waste product, but for doctors in Brazil’s burn wards, it’s a game-changing new treatment.

 

With its high levels of collagen, tilapia skin is a natural for healing burns. It stays moist longer than gauze and doesn’t need to be changed like traditional bandages. Between fish farm and hospital, it's treated with sterilizing agents and irradiated before packaging to kill any bacteria or viruses. Once treated, it can last for up to two years. All that, and it costs 75% less than the sulfadiazine cream traditionally used.

 

Flipping to fish bandages doesn’t only help humans: California veterinarians used tilapia skin to treat two adult bears and a cougar cub after wildfires swept Los Padres National Forest. You could say it's going...swimmingly.

2. Feeding animals with spent grain

There’s been a symbiotic relationship between breweries and farmers for centuries. No, it's not that farmers appreciate a cold one at the end of the day! We mean their mutual pal, wet grain.

 

It goes like this: brewers begin their recipes with a mash of grain and water. Once the grain’s starch converts into sugar, the mash is drained and rinsed and the grain is no longer needed. Because waste removal can be pricey, many breweries have struck up a bargain with local farmers: all the spent grain they want, for cheap. Or free!

 

It's that rarest of animals: an arrangement that benefits everyone. Breweries get rid of their by-product and the farmers get an ongoing supply of cheap or free nutritious food for their animals. It’s a common-sense kind of solution that showcases how sustainability can be an easy, daily choice you just keep making.

 

(No word so far on whether the animals prefer a triple-hopped IPA spent grain or something a little more approachable, like a nice cream stout.)

3. De-icing roads with cheese brine

It’s not such a stretch to use spent grain as animal feed. Farmers need grain for their stock anyway. But how about using food waste to de-ice roads?


In Northern Europe, sugar beets have long been ground into dry rubs to treat roads before a storm. Washington, D.C., and New Jersey use beet juice, and some areas in Massachusetts use a molasses-based treatment. (RIP our winter boot uppers.)


Polk County, WI, uses cheese brine.


Treating roads with a liquid mixture of salt, water, and chemicals before the snow flies helps road salt stick better and hinders ice formation. And since cheese brine is basically just salty water, why not use what’s around, especially when you can’t beat the price? The dairy providing their brine offers it cheap in exchange for free waste processing.

4. Getting sparkly with fish scales

Sure, cosmetic makers can use mica to get their sparkle, but some still cave to the OG mermaid inspo and get their pearlescent glimmer from crushed-up fish scales.


Primarily sourced from herring, fish scales are a waste product removed during the purse-seining process (they're left behind in the net). Those iridescent scales get crushed into dust and mixed into various cosmetics, shampoos and conditioners, and skin products. The scales’ ability to partially reflect and transmit light from layer to layer gives cosmetics a pearly luster which appears lit from within.
(We're herring it's really on trend.)

5. Feeding rainforests with orange peels

People don’t always think “corporation” and “conservation” in the same sentence, but back in 1997, one orange juice company found the synergy in corporate responsibility. Encouraged by two University of Pennsylvania ecologists, Costa Rican orange juice manufacturer Del Oro offered part of its forested land to Área de Conservación Guanacaste in return for permission to dump orange peel waste, at no cost, on degraded land within that same park.

 

One year and 12,000 metric tons of orange peels later, a rival company’s lawsuit meant the agreement was at an end, and the orange peel-covered land was abandoned.


Flash forward to 2013: a team of researchers surveyed the land and found a whopping 176% increase in above ground biomass (read: plants) across the three hectares where the peels had been dumped. The peels had also contributed to richer soil, greater forest canopy cover, and more diverse species of trees. Excuse us while we dump some clementine peels into our office plants.

6. Anaerobic Digestion

For those food waste co-products that can’t be re-purposed, consider anaerobic digestion, a process during which bacteria break down biodegradable waste into fertilizer and biogas.


To meet their goal of zero waste by 2020, Stop & Shop Supermarkets tapped Dennis Group to design and build an anaerobic digester that could break down packaging materials as well as food. The biogas produced provides up to 40% of the power for the adjacent 1.1MM SF distribution center! That's how we light 'em up...in a sustainable, environmentally-conscious sort of way.

Wondering how your food production facilities can become more sustainable?

Dennis Group can help! Contact us today to get the ball (or peeled orange) rolling.