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30 Smartest Companies of the year 2020

VHB - Leveraging technology to deliver resilient and sustainable solutions

VHB - Leveraging technology to deliver resilient and sustainable solutions

VHB believes in a built world that thrives on intelligent solutions and evolves, not by expanding, but by helping clients be future-focused. Comprised of 1,600 engineers, scientists, planners, designers, and technologists in more than 30 offices along the East Coast, VHB partners with public and private clients in the transportation, real estate, institutional, and energy markets, as well as federal, state, and local governments. The Applied Technology Team includes software engineers, software architects, database managers, data scientists, GIS professionals, analysts, and support staff who offer integrated services across their markets. Future Focused Solutions leverage innovation and advancements in technology to address economic, social, and environmental responsibility.

Future Focused Solutions

Future Focused Solutions begin with people and problems not just technology. At VHB, challenges are approached with the end-user in mind. VHB begins by listening to understand what issues their clients face, what obstacles they must overcome, as well as their goals and objectives. Once the challenges are understood, the best and most appropriate technology-focused solution is identified to help solve the problem and get clients where they want to go.

To advance Future Focused Solutions, VHB partners with several commercial data providers, including INRIX, Verizon, Replica, and HERE, as well as maintains a long-standing partnership with Esri, the global market leader in geographic information system (GIS) software, location intelligence, and mapping. As a Cornerstone Esri Business Partner and Partner Advisory Committee Member, VHB’s partnership with Esri focuses on expanding and enhancing the use of technology across the AEC industry. Partner vendors are selected based on shared values and common goals, including a future-focused approach to driving initiatives forward and commitment to clients and communities.

Leading-edge work processes and technology

Deploying leading-edge work processes and technology tools and applications results in more efficient project execution. At VHB, leveraging data, along with the effective use of technology, achieves higher value results. On each project, core service knowledge, data insights, and the application of technology is combined to discover, develop, and implement innovative solutions for clients’ planning, engineering and design, sustainability, and environmental compliance needs.

VHB is working with the City of Orlando on the city’s Future-Ready City Master Plan, a roadmap that leverages innovation and collaboration to define and organize actionable Smart City efforts. As the prime consultant, VHB has ushered the program through multiple stakeholder discussions to build consensus, including focus area roundtables and public workshops to engage the community. Later this year, Future Ready will move from the planning phase into implementation, considering strategies such as addressing the digital divide, resilience planning, piloting a digital twin, and enhancing the integrated mobility experience.

Extensive portfolio of custom builds.

VHB’s portfolio of Future Focused Solutions applies context understanding, collective knowledge, technical excellence, and a wide network of partnerships to develop creative and practical, technology-enabled solutions.

  • VHB’s Healthy Mobility Model analyzes land use, mobility, and urban design factors to estimate community health levels in a designated area to assist in planning and designing communities and built environments in a way that makes it easier for people to live healthier lives
  • In cities and towns across VHB’s footprint, they are implementing LED and Smart Lighting Programs. VHB has worked with municipalities to inventory more than 100,000 lights to determine their condition as preparation for a citywide replacement to Smart or LED lighting
  • The Cultural Resource Information System (CRIS) and CRIS Trekker tools preserve cultural resources and enable a virtual workforce. VHB designed and developed an enterprise-wide, web-based CRIS that integrates vast amounts of data into a single, comprehensive database to improve business processes and effectively manage multiple State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) programs

Over the summer, VHB launched its latest technology-driven innovation, Intersect. With traffic data collection a critical piece of advancing transportation, land development, and environmental projects, Intersect revolutionizes the way traffic volumes are calculated at urban, suburban, or rural intersections during typical and atypical circumstances. While this idea was developed several years ago, implementation was accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to identify traffic volume counts when there were very few cars on the street.

VHB’s technology specialists and traffic engineers collaborated to design and build Intersect using historical data from cell phones and connected vehicles (probe data) as a stand-in for real-time, in-person traffic counts traditionally collected. This planning tool combines big data analytics and traditional traffic analysis to identify traffic data at intersections more efficiently than ever before, without the need for traditional manual or electronic counts. VHB is working in partnership with multiple Departments of Transportation to implement Intersect and leverage the efficiency and accuracy of collecting traffic counts using probe data to keep critical projects moving.

About the CEO

Mike Carragher, PE, is the President and CEO of VHB. Founded in 1979 in Watertown, Massachusetts, VHB has improved mobility, enhanced communities, and balanced development and infrastructure needs with environmental stewardship for more than 40 years. The company is dedicated to delivering value by embracing client goals, anticipating challenges, building lasting partnerships, and delivering data-powered and technology-driven solutions.

“Working together to deliver resilient and sustainable solutions for our clients and communities.”


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