Arts & Entertainment, Economic Development, and Human Resources

GR, West Coast acoustic consulting firms merge

Result is one of the largest independent consulting firms in the country.

April 29, 2016
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A recent merger has made Grand Rapids-based Acoustics By Design Inc. one of the largest independent acoustical consulting firms in North America.

Acoustics By Design, which offers services from vibration consultants, engineers, audio visual designers, theatrical lighting and IT security, has acquired Portland, Oregon-based Daly-Standlee and Associates Inc.

The next three months will be spent figuring out a rebrand for the new entity and expanded services. For now, both firms will continue to work out of their current locations and there will be no staff changes, said Brian Atkinson, media relations for Acoustics By Design, which is located at 124 E. Fulton St., Grand Rapids.

“We’re excited to expand our West Coast presence,” said Kenric Van Wyk, president. “While we’ve had a small service office in the Portland area, the merger and addition of Daly-Standlee strengthens our firm both geographically and from the position of offering a broader, deeper bench of specialization and expertise nationally.”

Together, the two firms will offer a full range of acoustical, noise, vibration and audio, video and lighting consulting services for clients that include architects, engineers, facilities directors, municipalities, industrial firms and building owners.

No jobs were lost during the merger, which became official April 1. Acoustics By Design, which was founded in 1962, currently has 10 members, and Daly-Standlee and Associates, which opened in 1988 as an outgrowth of Daly Engineering, has four. Acoustics By Design is looking to hire another consultant, Atkinson said, putting the overall team at 15.

“The merger with Acoustics By Design provides a nice complement of services for our clients. We will be maintaining our strong presence in environmental noise work and vibration measurement and control work and enhancing the architectural acoustic services provided by the firm by adding the audio, video and lighting expertise and architectural acoustic expertise coming from the staff at Acoustics By Design,” said Kerrie Standlee, president of Daly-Standlee and Associates.

“Long-standing Daly-Standlee clients, as well as future clients, will see a firm with much broader capability and expertise.”

The deal came about thanks to the assistance of Melinda Miller, senior acoustical consultant for Acoustics By Design. Miller decided to move back to the Pacific Northwest to be closer to her family, so Acoustics By Design set up an office for her in the Portland area. It was there that she made connections with Standlee.

“As Kerrie and our president began talking, we were wondering if they could bring the firms together to keep that firm going and give their employees job security,” Atkinson said. “This new merger created one of the largest independent acoustical consulting firms in North America.”

Miller has now relocated to the Daly-Standlee office. Over the next few months as the rebranding plans are formed, that staff will be “relocated into a downtown office as a whole office, and she’ll be right there with them,” Atkinson said.

Atkinson said Acoustics By Design has shown the ability to handle a variety of projects. While many firms specialize in corporate or K-12 schools or amphitheaters, Acoustics By Design can provide across-the-board services on any job, making every project viable, he said.

“Our biggest market sectors are health care, university and corporate, and when you take a look at those in West Michigan, you’ve got Spectrum, Mercy Health, GVSU,” he said.

“There’s only about 150 firms in the U.S., so there’s a demand of services as building continues to grow.”

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