EDAW in talks over name change

Olympic 2012 masterplanning firm EDAW is in discussions over a rebranding to help it win work in the Middle East and Asia.

The design firm - which has 34 offices worldwide - is tipped to undergo an overhaul that will see it develop an even closer relationship with technical and management services company AECOM.

The firms merged at the end of 2005. EDAW London regional director Andrew Jones told HW the firm was considering using the AECOM name as a way into large projects in the Middle East and Asia.

"AECOM has been part of EDAW's name for over three years now but we are looking to find ways of getting EDAW's design skills into these larger projects in the Middle East and Asia through using the AECOM name as a way in," he said.

"At this stage, we are still running with the name EDAW but we are looking at how we can use the AECOM platform more strongly.

"There will be no change in our design quality; it is about getting that quality out to a bigger audience," he added.

A leading landscape architect, who did not wish to be named, said that he was surprised by the decision because of the strong identity that EDAW had built up over 40 years.

"EDAW has been such a big brand, so it seems quite strange. I suspect it is like a lot of other companies that are falling back into the safety of the engineering firms. It is probably easier to sell engineering services than landscape services," he said.

The move follows last year's announcement that building design and civil engineering group Capita Symonds had acquired Lovejoy for an undisclosed sum.

Since March 2008, the firm has traded as Capita Lovejoy. In addition, Whitelaw Turkington was acquired by Dutch engineering firm Grontmij the same month.

Business consultant Neville Stein said the key to success was communication. He explained: "They need to make sure everyone in the landscape market understands why they are doing that, so existing clients know the benefits and reasons."

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