Arium AE

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Location: Columbia, MD
Founded: 1988
Industry: Architectural engineering, building design and consulting

Arium AE

Scott Walthour


Arium AE has in-house architects, interior designers, space planners, and electrical and mechanical engineers. “We work as an integrated team with a systematic focus on delivering accurate and timely designs for a vast array of project types,” says principal Scott Walthour. Employees at Arium have an average tenure of more than 10 years. In part, this is because the company gives employees the resources and flexibility to work around family life, says Walthour. “We have 31 employees, and these employees have 29 school-age children. … Having a family-friendly, flexible atmosphere is a requirement for our success.”

Quick Tip:Having the company leaders sitting in the same space as the teams provides a leadership connection that cannot occur behind walls.”

One of the most difficult times Arium has faced was its transition from an architectural firm to an architectural engineering firm. “Adding engineers to an existing architectural studio turned out to be a challenging endeavor. From a thought process and personality point of view, architects and engineers think differently,” says Walthour. The company overcame this by embracing an open office where leaders sit with the rest of the team, as well as in-house cross-training. “This way, all trades learn and understand the key issues and understand how to speak each other’s language,” he says.