VHB Acquires HG Design Studio

Joining forces, VHB and HG Design Studio will explore new approaches to address tomorrow’s challenges.

October 03, 2022

VHB announced today that they are joining forces with HG Design Studio, a Richmond, VA, based firm. With a presence in the Commonwealth for more than 60 years, HG Design Studio has 17 employees accomplished in landscape architecture, land planning, and civil engineering. Their talent and technical knowledge will help enhance and accelerate the growth of services in VHB’s Richmond office and overall Mid-Atlantic region as their client and project base continues to expand.

VHB and HG Design Studio leaders pose for a photo together.
From left to right, leaders from HG Design Studio and VHB’s Mid-Atlantic Region: Meril Gerstenmaier, Piotr Swietuchowski, Nancy Barker, Dave Gerstenmaier, Charlene Harper, Chris DeWitt, Randy Biltz, and Diane Linderman.


“VHB’s strategic plan provides a thoughtful roadmap for a sustainable future with a focus on delivering best-in-class, differentiating solutions to our clients and communities,” said Mike Carragher, President and CEO of VHB. “The addition of the HG Design Studio Team strengthens this within Richmond and the Mid-Atlantic region as we continue to provide value and be a resource to our clients facing challenges and opportunities within the constantly changing nature of our communities.”

With more than 30 offices across the East Coast and 1,800 employees, VHB’s engineers, scientists, planners, and designers work to deliver resilient and sustainable solutions that provide positive impacts to clients and communities. Headquartered in Watertown, MA, VHB has had a presence in Richmond for the past 25 years. With three additional offices across Virginia and one in Washington, DC, VHB partners with clients in the transportation, real estate, institutional, and energy markets, as well as federal, state, and local governments. Recent experience includes preliminary engineering for Long Bridge—a $2 billion project that will transform the eastern seaboard’s freight and passenger rail network, University of Virginia’s Ivy Corridor, the Ohio Creek Watershed in Norfolk, and security enhancements at the historic Capitol Square Grounds in Richmond.

HG Design Studio and VHB have partnered on numerous metro-Richmond projects, including the Virginia Commonwealth University Cabell Library and 12th Street Pedestrian Plaza; the Science Museum of Virginia parking deck and green space; and  the Sherwood Commercial Center in Newport News, Virginia. HG Design Studio’s established model of landscape architecture and engineering integration has proved successful in the real estate, institutional, and local government markets. Their experience, combined with VHB’s, will provide a broader suite of services to markets both are currently working in, including landscape architecture, water resources, land planning, and transportation.

“Our firms have partnered together in the past and through these experiences, it is clear that there is a lot of alignment between the two firms’ vision and goals, including our focus on quality, integration and approach to economic vitality and environmental stewardship,” said Nancy Barker, VHB’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Manager. “We focus on early engagement and collaboration from the project outset to provide our clients with proactive approaches, creative solutions, and data-informed recommendations, which will now be further enhanced as our firms join forces.”

HG Design Studio will join VHB’s Richmond team and operate legally as Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. and be known as VHB. HG Design Studio’s Dave Gerstenmaier, Founder and Director of Design, will join VHB as a Principal. Meril Gerstenmaier, Managing Partner, joins as Industry Relationship Manager. Also joining as Associates will be Charlene Harper, Director of Engineering; and Randy Biltz, Director of Production.

For additional information about the acquisition, or to learn more about our combined service offerings, contact Nancy Barker.

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