The RBG USA leadership team outside 270 Park Avenue, New York, joined by SJ Group leaders including SJ GCEO, Sean Chiao.

(Left to Right)

Dan Mitchell Operations Director USA Robert Bird Group
Siew Haip Yeo CEO, Global Architecture Surbana Jurong
Sean Chiao Group CEO Surbana Jurong
Philip Cheok Acting Chief Financial Officer Surbana Jurong
Jason Langer Group Managing Director – Projects Robert Bird Group
David Seel Managing Director – West Robert Bird Group

Robert Bird Group Celebrates 5 years in New York

It’s an exciting 2023 for Robert Bird Group in New York; the team is celebrating the milestone of 5 years of doing business in the US.

The RBG New York office was established in mid-2018 by David Seel with the help of esteemed American engineers, Leslie Robertson and SawTeen See.  Dan Mitchell, who started his career in the RBG Sydney office, relocated from London to New York later that year, and took a lead role in the management of the business, and delivery of projects.  RBG’s first US project – delivered through to City Permit approvals in 2019 – was an 18-storey mixed-use tower in downtown Seattle, slated to become a Virgin Hotel.   This project was a collaboration with sister company B+H Architects.

Through 2020, Covid-19 prevented us from seeing clients and collaborators, so global workshare kept the team busy – highlighting the importance of our global connectedness.  During this time, David and Daniel also took the opportunity to secure US engineering licenses required to practice independently and grow the business – no easy feat when you are not an American…!

When the world arose from the pandemic in late 2021, we re-engaged with the US market, and began to achieve success.

Early in 2022 we had two significant project wins – the first was LIV Golf for the Par 5 Group, where we delivered third-party engineering reviews, coordination and on-site inspections and approvals for all temporary structures erected across five prestigious golf tournaments across the US.  The second project win was the Diridon site at San Jose West, California, for Google Lendlease Joint Venture.  On this project we were able to generate over USD $15 million in project cost savings, by increasing the efficiency of basement car parking by 18%, through digital optimisation.

During this time we also developed a strong ongoing relationship with crane contractor Uperio, through our Construction Engineering service offering.

In late 2022, the team grew to five, and we were appointed to the 270 Park Avenue project in New York City, working with contractor AECOM Tishman.  This 423-metre-tall skyscraper is under construction and is set to be the new state-of-the-art global headquarters for JP Morgan Chase.  Designed by Foster & Partners, the tower will be New York city’s largest all-electric tower with net zero operational emission when complete in 2025.  Our role on this project is delivery of our unique and specialist service offerings – construction engineering, and VDC – utilising our own REVEAL platform.

On the back of our performance on 270 Park Avenue, AECOM Tishman appointed us for a similar Construction Engineering + VDC role early this year, on the US $6 billion redevelopment of John F Kennedy Airport – New Terminal One.  This project has engaged both our local NYC team as well as our global VDC resources from London and Melbourne, and is yielding great value for our client, and their subcontractors.

In March this year, Jason Langer (Group Managing Director – Projects) relocated to New York to join the team and provide further technical and work-winning support, in line with our accelerated growth plans for the business.  With Daniel and Jason leading the NYC team, we now have in place a highly talented team of engineers, with aspirations to grow rapidly in the coming years.  Here’s to much success over the next five years….!