Monthly Archives

October 2015

Haller award recipient Huckabee Texas

Haller Award: Ben Harris

By | News

Benchmark_HarrisColorBenchmark Harris, Huckabee’s Director of Engineering, was named the 2015 Haller Award recipient, an honor presented by The Masonry Society to an engineer or engineering firm that has enhanced the knowledge of masonry in practice. The award recognizes the “beauty, elegance and economy” of structural masonry projects.

Ben is being recognized for his contributions in design, as well as his contributions as a leading expert in the field. He has more than 18 years of experience, completing more than $2 billion in construction projects utilizing concrete masonry as a primary structural element.

In his profession, Ben is frequently sought out to share his expertise and has been a featured speaker at events and conferences for organizations including, the U.S. Department of Education, American Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities, Texas Association of School Administrators, Texas Association of School Business Officials, University of Texas at Arlington, University of Texas at Brownsville, Structural Engineers Association of Texas, The Masonry Society, North American Masonry Conferences, ICON-Xchange and the International Masonry Institute. He has also been published by Structure Magazine, written numerous white papers and contributed to Masonry Designer’s Guide.

At Huckabee, Ben leads a team of 16 engineers and engineers-in-training. He promotes an informed and creative approach to developing solutions for educational design that integrate architectural and structural features. His team is heavily involved in the planning and design process, promoting collaboration, mentorship and shared knowledge to create innovative and structurally sound designs. Since joining the firm in 2011, Ben has led Huckabee’s engineering arm to become the top “Best Firm to Work For—Structural Engineering Firm,” in 2015 as named by Zweig Group.

The Haller Award—named in memory of Professor Paul Haller, an engineer who helped revolutionize the field—is reviewed annually; however, is not awarded each year. Ben is only the seventh recipient since the award was first bestowed in 1993.

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Rise Up West ISD Trailer Premiers

By | Client News

In 2013, the town of West, Texas suffered a tragedy, when a nearby fertilizer plant exploded, causing loss of life and irreparable damage to nearby buildings, including three of West ISD’s schools. As the heart of the community, the schools represented the enormity of the loss, as well as the community’s determination to “rise up.” More than two years later, the community is working together to restore their town, and the school district has turned tragedy into opportunity as they work with Huckabee to rebuild the district’s high school and middle school campus.

The documentary, Rise Up West ISD, follows the school district’s and community’s efforts to restore West—and documents their immense pride in their historic town. The feature will follow the town through next year, but the trailer premiered at the TASA / TASB convention for school district professionals. To follow West ISD’s progress and their efforts to “rise up,” visit www.RestoreWestISD.com.

Chris Huckabee featured Huckabee Texas

Texas Tech Honors Chris Huckabee

By | News

Chris Huckabee has been named the 2015 Texas Tech University College of Architecture Distinguished Alumni. The Architecture Alumni Association presents the award annually to graduates who have clearly defined excellence in their profession, as well as shown dedication to the field of architecture.

It’s truly an honor to be recognized by my alma mater. Texas Tech University’s College of Architecture has produced some of the best architects in the state, and I am proud to represent and support the program as a Distinguished Alumni.

Chris HuckabeeChief Executive Officer, Huckabee

Chris graduated from Texas Tech University’s College of Architecture in 1991. Upon graduation, he joined Huckabee full-time, having already spent the majority of his life learning about the field from his father, Tommie. Shortly after, Chris became President, and in 2001 took over as Chief Executive Officer. Under his leadership, Huckabee has grown from a 5-person shop to a more than 180-employee, multi-discipline firm with offices across Texas. It is one of the fastest growing architectural / engineering firms in the nation.

In addition to his business acumen, the Distinguished Alumni award recognizes Chris’ leadership in the community and his belief in developing a firm-wide culture of philanthropy. As a community leader, Chris served on the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board where he worked to improve the quality and access of higher education to all Texans. He recently stepped down from his role, when he was appointed to the Board of Regents at Texas Tech University. Chris also serves on the Board of Trustees for Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth and as the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Community Foundation of North Texas.

Through his family’s Huckabee Community Excellence Fund, Chris and the firm have given more than $1,000,000 to organizations that support education, health, community programs, arts and cultural affairs. Huckabee also routinely provides support to education foundations, local causes and continuing education opportunities, as well as encourages its employees to give back through volunteering and through the donation of goods and funds.

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Chris is one of the foremost CEOs in Texas, both within his field and as a business leader. His philosophy focuses on empowering employees and inspiring innovation, with the goal of providing the best-quality service to his clients. Chris also developed one of the top internship programs for recent college graduates, providing them with first-hand experience as they develop into successful architects and engineers.

As a testament to his leadership, Huckabee consistently appears on top industry lists for growth, workplace environment and innovation. In 2015, Zweig Group voted Huckabee the “Best Firm to Work For,” placing number three on the list for architecture firms and number one for structural engineering firms. Zweig Group also named Huckabee as a 2015, “Hot Firm.” Other recent recognitions include Engineering News Record’s “Top 500 Design Firms,” and Building Design + Construction magazine’s 2015 Giants 300 list as a “Top 10 K-12 School Sector” firm, among numerous school design awards.

The Architecture Alumni Association will make the announcement during a special presentation at the Texas Society of Architects Convention in November. Chris is the 34th alumni to receive the honor, joining a list of individuals who have made significant contributions to the field of architecture.

Throughout my career, I had the opportunity to learn from many great architects and business leaders. Passing that knowledge along and creating an environment that supports growth, mentorship and integrity in leadership is an important part of Huckabee’s success. We have recruited an incredible team that is playing an integral role in how instruction is delivered in Texas’ schools.

Chris HuckabeeChief Executive Officer, Huckabee
Austin common area Huckabee Texas

Austin Business Journal Spotlight

By | Industry

Austin Business Journal visited Huckabee’s local office to take a tour of the newly designed space, located in The Domain in northwest Austin. The article (click here to view) provides a visual tour of the space, which was designed by Gensler, an architecture firm known for creating exceptional work environments.

Huckabee has six offices in Texas, located in Fort Worth, Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and LEx Labs, our educational research lab, at Baylor University in Waco. Each space features a similar environment, making Huckabee feel like home regardless of where it’s located.

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LEx Labs Featured on KWTX News 10

By | Research

LEx Labs—Huckabee’s educational research lab in partnership with ESC Region 12 at Baylor University—was featured on KWTX News 10 in Waco. The story illustrates how teachers and administrators from across the state are using the space to explore how students react to different learning environments.

Within the space, Huckabee’s clients have access to technology and flexible use furniture that is equipped with motion sensors. The sensors track furniture movement and how students adjust their surroundings to create the most comfortable learning space. As more and more clients utilize LEx Labs, Huckabee is generating valuable data to help school districts make informed decisions about their educational design programs.