Established in 1972, David Nairne + Associates Ltd. (DNA) has evolved into a multi-disciplinary consulting firm providing Architectural, Civil and Structural Engineering, Planning and Project Management services. Our firm’s growth is largely driven by our dedication to provide our clients with the services they need – meeting their vision on each and every project is our core business philosophy. This collaborative approach has led us to long-term, trusting relationships and allowed us to provide innovative, cost-effective solutions. Our multi-disciplinary nature allows us to provide our clients with an integrated approach that leads to extraordinary results.
DNA is an employee owned, private company of 50 professionals. With registrations in British Columbia, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Manitoba, our vibrant team of partners, associates and colleagues can provide you with a wide range of expertise, from facility and community planning, architectural and engineering design, through to project management.
David Nairne + Associates Ltd.
David Nairne, P. Eng.
Our firm is built upon the legacy of our founder, the late David Nairne, P. Eng. David was known for his integrity and his practical, common sense approach. He made it a priority to take the time to know and understand his clients, carefully listening to their needs, and trying to meet those needs in the best possible way.
David’s legacy has endured for nearly 50 years, continuing to serve as our guiding vision and driving the success of our firm.
In October 2001, David was featured in Canadian Consulting Engineer Magazine:
First Nations Friend
Sophie Kneisel, Canadian Consulting Engineer Magazine, October 1 2001
“If he had been born in another century, there’s no doubt about it, he would have been an explorer,” says Stephen Nairne of his late father. David Nairne rode the Trans-Siberian Railway on a solo trip, climbed Kilimanjaro with his best friend for his 50th birthday and travelled the Yangtze River with his wife, Judy. He was open and accessible, Stephen says, describing how children flocked to his father when the two of them were trekking in Nepal. “He was very happy when he was travelling.”
David Nairne died in March at the age of 61 after a two-year battle with cancer of the pancreas. He was born in Port Alberni, B.C. and graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in civil engineering in 1964. His career began with Dominion Construction, where he happened to work with Ken Bell. When he started his own firm, David Nairne + Associates (DNA), in 1972, Bell joined him and they soon moved from structural work into civil engineering, later branching out into construction management and architecture.
Fred Dabiri, P.Eng., another partner in the firm, met Nairne across a table when Dabiri was negotiating for Indian and Northern Affairs Canada on behalf of a First Nations band. Nairne was representing the school board. While they were arguing over how much the school board could “squeeze out” of the federal department for three planned new schools, the community they were in was flooded and they were forced to help each other just to get out of the area. The two worked together frequently over the years when Nairne’s firm was hired to complete projects for various bands. In the early 80s Dabiri joined the firm. “We started doing more First Nations work. They were small projects, but they really had an impact (on people’s lives).”
Nairne’s “absolutely straightforward, honest approach” won him the trust of the First Nations communities in B.C. Stephen, who along with his father became friends with many of the firm’s clients, says the work becomes secondary to the relationships formed.
“David and the members of his firm, made a point of getting to know people,” says Amanda Reid-Stevens, the executive director of the Qua’llnagaay Heritage Centre Society in Skidegate, B.C. She worked with Nairne often over the past 25 years. “What I respected most about him, and there were many things, was his honesty,” she says “He didn’t tell you what you wanted to hear, he told you the truth, which isn’t always easy to do. And he was a great debater. I’d always end up snivelling,” she laughs. “He stayed calm while I would turn into a screaming banshee trying to make my point. He could say a lot in very few words.”
Nairne tried to give back to Native communities by hiring engineering graduates from First Nations. “But you could count them on the fingers of one hand,” Dabiri says. So the idea of establishing a scholarship for First Nations civil engineering students at the University of British Columbia was discussed before Nairne’s death, although Stephen says he would probably have been embarrassed to have it created in his name. “He was an extremely low-key guy. He knew the key to communication is not to speak, but to listen.” The David Nairne Scholarship is now established and will be given out yearly beginning in 2002.
Nairne’s practical, commonsense approach served him well in his career, and equally well as he faced his death. “He said ‘Don’t cry for me, I’ve had a wonderful life,’” Stephen recalls. “It has exceeded my expectations by so much.”
“David was a picture of honesty. You wanted a straight answer? You went to David.” – Fereydoun Dabiri
Fereydoun Dabiri, P.Eng.
President & CEO
Fereydoun Dabiri joined DNA in 1981. As the Senior Partner, company President and CEO, he is responsible for corporate leadership and co-coordinating the activities of the entire DNA team of engineers, planners, economic development specialists, architects, and project managers.
Fereydoun’s areas of expertise include project development, funding negotiations and government liaison for a wide range of projects, primarily for First Nation communities, as well as fostering partnership approaches with non-First Nation communities. Fereydoun brings over 45 years of project experience, having worked with over 125 First Nations in British Columbian, Yukon and Manitoba.
Prior to joining DNA, Fereydoun spent ten years at Indian & Northern Affairs Canada as a District/Area Engineer for the central, northwest and Prince George Districts. He was responsible for the management of District engineering and architectural services throughout northwest, central and north east British Columbia and the provision of technical advice to First Nation communities and Tribal Councils.
Fereydoun is perhaps unique in British Columbia for his knowledge of and relationships with First Nation communities and the First Nation leadership. Fereydoun’s personal relationships with First Nations Membership and his commitment to working towards creating better communities have led to him being recognized as an adopted member of the Js’aalth Eagle Clan of the Haida Nation.
Andy Mill, P.Eng. Struct. Eng., CP, FEC
Andy Mill is responsible for the business management of architectural and structural engineering service delivery. He also acts as Chief Structural Engineer and in this capacity; he is actively involved in DNA’s structural engineering projects and specializes in condition and risk assessment. In addition, Andy acts Coordinating Registered Professional and has extensive Project Management, cost management and contract administration experience. Since joining DNA in 1995, he has managed many significant new construction and renovation projects including, schools, health centres, as well as community, residential, commercial and industrial buildings.
Prior to joining David Nairne and Associates Ltd. (DNA), Andy was a Project Manager and structural engineer at the Dominion Construction Company where he was active in projects ranging from land acquisition stages through contract negotiation, design, construction and commissioning. He brings that experience to his current role at DNA where he provides value engineering, cost estimating and life cycle costs analysis. Andy is also an active member of the Association of Professional Engineers of British Columbia and has served as a member of Council and APEGBC Executive, and has chaired several committees including Registration, Professional Practice and the Seismic Peer Review Committee. As a Certified Professional, he is recognized by authorities having jurisdiction as a Building Code expert.
Kathryn Nairne, MCIP, RPP
Kathryn joined DNA in 1994 and has worked extensively with municipal, regional, provincial, territorial governments, indigenous communities and non profit organizations throughout British Columbia, the Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Alaska. She has a particular focus on housing, community sustainability, governance, strategic planning, and community engagement.
Her professional background includes planning, policy and development for municipal and indigenous governments. This includes the design and execution of innovative and inclusive engagement processes from visioning through to action planning.
Skills assessments and training strategies have always been an important element of Kathryn’s work. She has played a key role in helping First Nation communities strengthen their capacity to deliver timely training initiatives to better align members’ skills to future, potential industry employment demands.
Kathryn includes building planning capacity as a core project deliverable of all community planning projects—from working one on one with community members to working with committees and training staff and government on new policies and procedures.
Jeff Gravistin, Architect.AIBC, MAA, MRAIC, LEED AP
Since joining the firm in 2001, Jeff has been involved in green building project development and DNA’s continuing education program in the area of sustainable research and development. Jeff has expertise in the facilitation of Integrated Design Workshops, with emphasis on Integrated Building Solutions for Improved Environmental Performance and Resource Conservation. He brought a comprehensive environmental approach to design on the Net Zero Okanagan College Trades and Technology Centre Renovation and Expansion, Coquitlam Library, Thompson Rivers University House of Learning in Kamloops, Stein Valley Nlakapamux School in Lytton, the Lynn Canyon Visitor Centre in North Vancouver, the Sechelt Health & Social Development Centre in Sechelt, the Haida Heritage Centre at Kaay’llnagaay and Masset Hospital on Haida Gwaii.
Furthermore, Jeff has been involved with several conferences including Green Building Challenge, Urban Development Institute Green Building Symposium, The Sustainable Design for Canadian Buildings Continuing Education Conference Series, and the Ministry of Competition, Sciences & Enterprises Green Building Projects in British Columbia.
Careers at DNA
Work with us!
If you are a self-motivated, creative professional interested in working closely with colleagues and clients to nurture projects from conception to realization, then DNA is the company for you. A sense of adventure, commitment to make change, and strong client focus are essential.
Founded in 1972, we offer an energetic and stimulating work environment that promotes rewarding professional relationships with your colleagues.
We provide opportunities for growth, generous remuneration, profit sharing, an RRSP contribution program, and a full range of extended health benefits.
If interested in joining our team, please send your resume to [email protected]