Belden Engineering Brings Buildings to Life

Published September 16, 2014 Volume 22, Number

Adds Infrastructure to Building Projects

A building is merely an empty shell until the experts at Belden Consulting Engineers add the infrastructure to make the property warm and inviting.

"Basically, any building or sports complex you go to would have need for our services," Belden president Dennis Hay said. "We provide mechanical, electrical and plumbing consulting engineering for commercial and residential projects. Anybody that wants to build a project that has heating or cooling needs or any plumbing or electrical needs would come to us."

Belden has deep roots in the Bay Area, dating back to 1967 when founder Jerry Belden started the company in Oakland. The firm moved to San Leandro and then settled in Dublin for 14 years before moving to Hacienda in July of this year.

"In our industry, I would say we're midsized at 22 people," Hay said. "Our industry tends to be anywhere from three or four people (at a company) to multi-offices."

Though Belden is not a behemoth in the industry, it has made an impressive mark throughout California and beyond.

"We work primarily in the western portion of the United States," he said. "We have projects in Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, Nevada and Hawaii."

While the firm works with various types of businesses and government agencies, "our two core areas where we do the majority of our work would be retail and high-density housing," Hay noted. "We did the outlet mall in Livermore. We're doing all the Avalon-based (housing) work at the BART station in Dublin."

Belden started the company after working at Safeway, bringing along the grocery store giant as a new client. The firm continues to do work for both Safeway and Lucky.

"That's how retail became one of our niches," Hay explained. "High-density housing and schools are two markets I had experience in when I came here from Arizona 27 years ago. Over the years, there have been many contributions by various employees to our portfolio of project types."

The firm's handiwork helped transform Pleasanton Middle School from an empty field to a functioning structure back when the school opened in 1991. Belden's designs brought light to both the Ken Mercer and Bernal sports parks in Pleasanton.

"We've done the engineering for most of the new elementary schools in Dublin," he continued. "We started another one at the end of summer. We've done quite a bit of remodel work (at schools) in San Jose and Alameda. We did the engineering for the gymnasiums and most of the remodeling at Harvest Park here in town. We also did the Wells Middle School expansion in Dublin."

Clients typically approach Belden during the planning process for a building. The firm provides preliminary information to help with planning before providing greater detail once a project is approved.

"The architect will design the outer shell and interior space plan of a building, and we make the building work," Hay said. "It's the guts to a building. The electrical is the lighting and the power and even the voice, data and security systems. Mechanical is the heating and cooling and ventilation."

Belden designs the infrastructure for buildings, but contractors are then hired to execute the firm's designs. The company typically juggles multiple jobs at any given time.

"In our business, it takes a lot of work to keep us going," he said. "We do about 250 jobs a year."

The company's relatively small size has helped Belden develop a reputation for being easy to work with on projects. The company is employee owned, which leads to them giving extra attention to clients.

"We are very attentive to the client's needs," Hay said. "We have a diverse staff. We move people around to make sure we can meet tight deadlines. We're very flexible."

Learn more about Belden Consulting Engineers at .

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