An Engineering Firm of Choice

The HIDI Group
Written by Robert Hoshowsky

Winning numerous awards over the past four decades for its work – including being named one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies – The HIDI Group continues to grow, innovate, and invest in its people for the betterment of all clients.
A company rooted in experience and expertise, The HIDI Group is a reflection of founder and Chief Executive Officer Andrew Hidi’s drive and determination. A graduate of Mechanical Engineering from the prestigious University of Toronto, Hidi has been an integral part of numerous recognizable projects over the years, including the First Canadian Place, The Exchange Tower, and The Manulife Centre. While a Principal at a respected Toronto firm, Hidi, at the age of 40, decided to go out on his own in 1975. Initially a two-person firm, the company began by offering mechanical services, and focused primarily on Toronto-based commercial clients.

Today, the company has grown into one of the world’s preeminent full-service consulting engineering firms, providing professional mechanical, electrical, lighting, communications, energy, security, commissioning, and risk and resilience consultancy services. With a staff of over 170 fulltime employees, The HIDI Group continues to expand to meet the needs of customers globally. In addition to its Toronto location – recently relocated from the city core to Finch Avenue and Highway 404 – The HIDI Group has established locations in Dubai (2007), Calgary (2008), and Abu Dhabi (2010).

Growth and diversified services
“We grew organically,” says John Ferguson, Managing Principal of the Toronto office. “We merged with a well-established electrical firm, EA Rae, in 1999, and slowly grew our other services.” Introducing Communications shortly after the merger, this was soon followed by other services, including Commissioning, Energy, Lighting, Security, and Risk and Resilience. “We have been adding services as our clients have demanded them, and as our skill sets have grown.”

With the company since 1998, Ferguson’s background includes a Masters in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Waterloo, and a part time teaching position at the University of Waterloo’s School of Architecture for eight years teaching mechanical building systems to third year architecture students. Serving as Project Executive for many commercial, institutional, retail, and mission critical projects delivered through building procurement and traditional models, John has worked on the Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort, a Tier IV data Centre for a national bank, and the latest Yorkdale Shopping Centre expansion.

With a dedicated team of professional engineers, engineering technicians, and designers, The HIDI Group’s reputation as a premier consulting engineering firm continues to grow. Adapting to the needs of its many clients, the company remains firmly committed to success both in Canada and abroad. Recognizing the changing business needs in the market, The HIDI Group has a strong commitment to the latest technological innovations and developments, including green building initiatives.

RBC WaterPark Place
Located in Toronto’s Queen’s Quay, an area undergoing stunning revitalization, RBC WaterPark Place is a good example of the success that stems from collaborating with a strong design team and a progressive developer, Oxford Properties Group Inc. At 30 storeys plus a mechanical penthouse, RBC WaterPark Place’s many amenities include a grand entrance, 360° views of the city, a lounge-style food court, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and much more.

Well-known developer Oxford Properties retained Toronto-based WZMH Architects for RBC WaterPark Place to serve as architect and prime consultant. WZMH was responsible for hiring all sub consultants, including electrical and mechanical consultants. Invited to submit a proposal, The HIDI Group was interviewed by Oxford, WZMH, and the Construction Manager, EllisDon, which had already been brought onboard.

Completed in 2014, RBC WaterPark Place stands as a testament to innovation, design, and forward-thinking. Achieving LEED Core and Shell Platinum Certification – the first commercial tower in Toronto’s financial core to do so – RBC WaterPark Place embodies the highest standards in sustainable practices at all levels, benefiting those within the building, the city of Toronto, and the planet. From heat reclamation on all ventilation units to a dedicated outdoor air system, energy-efficient lighting (including access to natural light), low-flow fixtures to reduce water usage by 35 per cent, low emitting building materials, deep lake water cooling, a 7,500 square metre green roof and much more, the project has raised the bar for future construction projects in Canada.

“We enter a project at the early concept design stage,” says Principal David Sinclair, who leads HRCx, the company’s Commissioning division. Experienced at managing projects from inception to completion, Sinclair’s extensive experience includes the University of Toronto Centre for Engineering Innovation and Entrepreneurship, 100 Adelaide Street West (EY Tower), and multiple initiatives with Rogers Communications. “We are engaged by the owner or the architect, depending on how a project is organized, from the concept of a project — that’s what we prefer. We want to be able to assist our clients from the beginning, so that they make the best choices for their projects.”

Cisco Customer Innovation Centre
Another key project for the company is the Cisco Toronto Headquarters and Customer Innovation Centre, completed earlier this year. The HIDI Group served as M&E consultant and was responsible for Commissioning as well. As one of nine Innovation Centres worldwide for the American multinational designer and manufacturer of networking equipment, the Centre brings together application developers, outside startups, academics, and representatives from a number of fields. Serving to inspire great minds today, tomorrow, and into the future, the Toronto Innovation Centre will continue to digitally transform industry, government, and the nation as it improves productivity.

For HIDI, this LEED Gold Certified project resulted in a number of awards, including the CoreNET REmmy Award (Innovative Office Space greater than 20,000 ft²), and six Illumination Engineering Society Awards: Toronto Section Awards and Awards of Merit in the following categories – Lighting Controls Innovation, Guth Interior Lighting, and the Energy Environmental Award.

Looking toward the future
Showcasing 40 years in business, 2015 was much more than an anniversary for The HIDI Group. In addition to relocating, the company adopted a new name, transitioning from Hidi Rae Consulting Engineers to The HIDI Group, to better reflect the nature of its business today. Starting off as a mechanical consultancy, The HIDI Group is proud to provide its clients eight integrated disciplines including Mechanical, Electrical, Communications, Commissioning, Energy, and Security Divisions, along with HIDI Risk and Resilience, and Alula Lighting Design, its new architectural lighting design studio.

“We are dedicated to continuous improvement,” says Ferguson, “and always looking at tweaking how we do things, both from an internal standpoint, and also as to how we can better serve our clients. We want growth, but not for the sake of growth. We like to be the best, and to refine our processes, and to tune our services to market needs.”



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