Architecture, planning and design firm Rice Daubney today announced that it will be merging its operations with USA-based global architecture firm HDR, forming HDR | Rice Daubney.

In a statement released by Sydney-based Rice Daubney, this combination of practices is part of the firm’s “long-term strategy to grow its business, expand its offering to clients and provide greater opportunities for employees”.

While aligning interests with international companies is not new for various businesses in other Australian sectors, this merger marks the first time a major local architecture business has sought to progress its long-term development strategy by joining a large global firm.

HDR Architecture provides architecture, engineering, consulting, construction and related services through its operating companies. It has completed projects in 60 countries, and was ranked first in Modern Healthcare’s 2013 ‘Annual Construction & Design Survey of Healthcare Architects’.

“This merger is occurring at the right time for our long-term development planning,” says John Daubney, Managing Director of Rice Daubney.

“It gives our clients access to a deeper pool of specialised global knowledge. Importantly, it also gives our people more opportunities to develop their expertise locally and overseas as well as their long-term careers as part of a larger global community.”

As HDR | Rice Daubney, the firm will seek to leverage its position in Australia and enhanced international benchmarking capability “to compete even more effectively for larger and more sophisticated tenders in existing and new markets”.

It is also expected that additional opportunities will arise for HDR | Rice Daubney to export Australian expertise through its global network, in the commercial and retail sectors for example.

“We are in a knowledge-sharing world and becoming part of a world-leading architectural practice reinforces the high value placed on this country’s design professionals,” adds Daubney.

“Australia’s architectural profession must seek to be part of an international network, just as the engineering, legal and accounting professions have done in the last few years. This will bring global power to our industry and highlight Australia as a ‘knowledge nation'."