Architecture and Engineering Firms Build Better Communities by Design

October 02, 2023
Two Male Architects Working on a Construction Project

Every year, World Architecture Day provides an opportunity for us to acknowledge and celebrate the incredible contributions of the architecture industry. Deltek is committed to providing software and solutions that power firms to achieve their project goals such as building sustainable communities for the future by integrating urban planning, architecture, and land conservation.

Cameron McCarthy Revitalizes a Community Staple

In the heart of Eugene, Oregon, there is a vibrant and bustling Town Square. A place where the community gathers, bonds and celebrates. And at the center of it all is Cameron McCarthy, a landscape architecture firm deeply involved in a ten-year project aimed at revitalizing Eugene’s iconic park blocks. Founded in 1952, Cameron McCarthy is an award-winning firm with planning and design experts who create harmony with built and natural environments. Cameron McCarthy sets high standards for sustainable site development. The planning and design project was led by Cameron McCarthy, Co-owner and Principal, Matt Koehler.

Cameron McCarthy took community involvement seriously, scheduling meetings with local businesses, stakeholders, and community members before embarking on a ten-year project to revitalize the town square. “Meeting with the community was instrumental in gathering input and shaping the project's direction. The collaborative approach resulted in a master plan that responded to community needs for improved park and special event experiences,” said Colin McArthur, Co-owner and Principal. The enhanced space for the town square will allow for both indoor and outdoor activities that the community will enjoy year-round, enhancing the quality of life for members. The firm believes the center will stand the test of time for generations to come.

Beyond community engagement, Cameron McCarthy considers the natural environment in all their projects. They specialize in parks and recreation planning, with an emphasis on preserving and restoring natural systems. Their work extends to creating green spaces and habitats that coexist harmoniously with human activities.

Cameron McCarthy is currently working on a regional sports complex to be built in West Eugene. Like with all projects, they are looking at how the firm can support ecological functions within the site while also allowing for compatible human use, whether that's playgrounds or sports fields, and then looking at ways to lessen the impact of development through best practices such as low impact development or use of use green infrastructure. For example, allowing the site to filter stormwater pollutants naturally through vegetated systems. The firm is also looking at ways to incorporate energy production whether it's solar or wind into future projects to help support power demands for projects.


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Eugene Town Square

Eugene, Oregon, Farmers’ Market at Town Square

Merge Architectural Group Bridges Cultures and Communities

In 2012, Carlos Murrieta and his partner, Clarissa del Castillo founded Merge Architectural Group, an award-winning architectural firm in Phoenix, Arizona. One of their most significant and impactful projects to date has been the creation of a multi-purpose facility for the Gila River Indian Community, a Native American community situated just south of Phoenix.

“One of the unique challenges presented to Merge Architecture was the need to create a design that was functional but also respected the tribe's customs and values, including their culture of storytelling. The building had to be a physical embodiment of this tradition, a place where generations could come together to share stories and experiences while catering to all generations – from toddlers to elders,” said Carlos.

Merge's 20 years of experience working with Native American communities made them the perfect fit for this project. They understood the importance of paying attention to the tribe's specific needs and desires. Merge hosted a number of collaborative sessions which were instrumental in shaping the final design of the 55,000-square-foot community center.

The project was completed in 2022 and today serves as a hub for administrative tribal community services like permit applications and day-to-day basic services such as meals for elders. It is also place where children receive music instruction, teenagers complete their homework, and community members engage in various educational programs.

Combining Health and Heritage

Merge is now in the process of a second community project with a Native American tribe and aims to construct a local market that will facilitate healthier eating among community members. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2024.

Working with the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, the firm is building a community market that will offer healthier food options. Healthcare professionals within the community noticed a rise in diabetes among its members. Rather than resorting to the conventional approach of medication, they decided to delve deeper into the issue and address it holistically, by fostering healthier eating habits within the tribe.

The Pascua Yaqui Tribe sought a partner who could help bring their vision to life, and they found a fitting ally in Merge Architectural Group. The firm was given the task of designing a space that could introduce healthier food options into the community while respecting its cultural values.

“Merge’s mission for this project is to create a multifaceted facility that will promote healthy food choices while celebrating the tribe's cultural heritage, said Carlos.” Once completed, the facility will house not only a market for selling fresh produce and other healthy ingredients but also a commercial kitchen where a skilled chef will prepare nutritious meals and will teach community members how to prepare these foods. These meals will be offered as grab-and-go options, providing a convenient alternative to the fast-food establishments that are prevalent in the area.

Merge’s collaboration with the Pascua Yaqui Tribe exemplifies the transformative power of architecture when it aligns with a community's values and aspirations. What started as a simple desire to introduce healthier food options has grown into a plan for a multifunctional facility that not only promotes physical health but also preserves cultural heritage.

Empowering Positive Change

Architecture can be a powerful tool for positive change. It demonstrates the potential to address not only the physical needs of a community but also its cultural, social, educational and environmental aspirations. Deltek A&E solutions connect and automate the project lifecycle that fuels architecture and engineering firms. Our industry-focused expertise helps firms of all sizes and complexities achieve performance that maximizes productivity and revenue.

For 40+ years, Deltek has delivered industry trends and best practices that help architecture and engineering firms benchmark their performance and drive results. The Deltek Clarity Architecture & Engineering Industry Study is the longest-running resource designed exclusively for the industry to identify key challenges impacting the market, while highlighting bright spots and forecasting future trends.


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