Ghafari Cracks Top 100 Of Biggest U.S.-Based Design Firms

DEARBORN — Ghafari Associates LLC has cracked the top 100 of the list of the biggest 500 United States-based design firms compiled by the trade publication Engineering News-Record.

Dearborn-based Ghafari came in at No. 99 on the 2014 list, up from No. 111 last year.

The list put Ghafari’s total revenue at $125.6 million for the year, $28.6 million of which came internationally.

The firm’s work included 69 manufacturing projects, which includes automotive, electronics and textile plants; 18 transportation projects, a category that includes airports, bridges, roads, canals, locks, dredging, amrine faciltiies, piers, railroads and tunnels; and four projects in the category industrial process-petroleum, which includes pulp and paper mills, steel mills, pharmaceutical plants, chemical plants, food plants, and oil refineries, pipelines and petrochemical plants.

Ghafari was No. 7 on the list of top firms in the manufacturing sector, unchanged from a year earlier. And it was No. 67 on the list of “Pure Designers.”

Taken as a group, the Top 500 firms had design revenue of $92.69 billion in 2013, up 2.7 percent from $90.24 billion in 2012. This marks the third consecutive year the Top 500 experienced revenue growth since the recession began.

Overall, public infrastructure projects continued to fall in the rankings — water supply down 5.6 percent, sewer and waste projects down 5.1 percent. Transportation was a bright spot, up 7.5 percent. In other sectors, the survey said health-care spending has been cautious as clients are retooling for the future, and state-funded work, especially higher education, remains relatively slow. And one of the hottest building markets, multi-unit residential, may be nearing the saturation point, survey respondents said.

Sustainability also continues to be a major factor in the market, with increasing use of online sustainability design tools.

The Top 500 list is online at The cover story for the Top 500 is at

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