Still, the firm had to craft a résumé that would meet the necessary qualifications to be considered for government work. It expanded its institutional portfolio by pursuing more nonfederal design-build projects, including the $80 million Oakland Hall at the University of Maryland in College Park.
“Design firms have to be smart about this,” Lowe says. “The Army Corps [of Engineers’] provisions say you have to have relevant projects within a certain time frame to qualify. That can be a significant barrier to entry to firms like us. If you don’t have that experience, you won’t get past the first step in the selection process.”