AIA Contract Documents Fuel the Unlikely Journey of an Engineer

About The SAH Design Group

The SAH Design Group provides full mechanical, electrical, and design services. Our staff is comprised of professional engineers and designers, trained in regulatory constraints, codes, and the energy demands of hotels, multi-residential properties, medical facilities, and clean room applications. We are adept in managing the special needs of these types of structures, allowing them and their distinct occupants to function optimally.

“AIA Contract Documents have been instrumental in helping my American Dream come true.”


Abdi Hejazi is the founder of The SAH Design Group: he’s also a self-described “numbers nerd,” and his love of figures, equations, and problem-solving was evident early on. Whereas others in his sphere shied away from the challenge of finding a solution to a complex dilemma, Hejazi, on the other hand, embraced each opportunity, methodically honing his skills and, in the beginning, unknowingly, building a foundation for life that was waiting. When the time came to choose his career path, it didn’t take long for him to realize that engineering, a profession steeped in numbers and math, was his calling.

A native of Iran, Hejazi perfected his craft during obligatory corporate stops, working his way up their ladders before giving in to the natural inclination of being the boss. True to form, he didn’t walk to the simple projects; he ran to the challenging ones. At every turn, during opportunity after opportunity, when competitors bypassed projects, they deemed impossible, Hejazi was drawn to them, wholeheartedly embracing them, finding the possible, while making a name for himself in the field of Complex Engineering. His affinity for this niche should come as no surprise, especially when you consider that Abdi Hejazi emerged from one of the most complex situations the world has ever known.


The Iranian Revolution of 1979 is one of the seminal events in modern-day history. On a macro level, the event decimated global relationships that took centuries to forge, with ramifications that still reverberate today. From a micro perspective, years of hope, dreams, and hard work were dashed. That included the business Hejazi had opened and the relationships he’d spent years cultivating in his homeland. “Overnight, I went from having a thriving business and supporting my family to shielding them from harm and finding a viable escape route from an extremely volatile situation.”

The United States was the obvious choice, but with relations between Iran and the US at an all-time low, gaining entry was unlikely. Fate stepped in, and his family was allowed entry, but he was forced to remain in Iran. For the next six years, he maintained some semblance of his business while never giving up hope that one day he, too, would live on US soil. “Despite all the barriers that stood in my way, loopholes, and resistance I encountered I never gave up hope. When the day I was granted access and allowed to reunite with my family and start my life anew finally arrived, with all we had overcome, I knew there was a higher power at play. There’s just no other way to describe it.”

“The documents are so well-written that I’ve actually come to view them as my handbook for success. A large part of the growth my firm sees from year to year can be directly attributed to our relationship with ACD.”

Starting Over

Arriving in America meant a lot of things to Hejazi. First and foremost, he was free from the turmoil that framed his existence for six years. It meant his family was whole again, but it also meant starting over, as an employee, not a business owner. “Leading up to my arrival I mailed out countless resumes and within two weeks I had secured a job and was back to doing the work I was placed here to do.” The work was the same, but Hejazi couldn’t help but notice one major difference. “The contracts. I was immediately drawn to the contracts. They were sturdy and powerful, yet simple enough to the point where a layperson like me, with limited legal knowledge, could digest them.”

Hejazi made it to the United States and found stable employment, but the yearning to be an entrepreneur kept calling. He finally answered that call, and the doors to The SAH Design Group were opened again, this time in a new country by the same man who, in some ways, was different. His love for numbers, turning the impossible into possible and all things complex, was the same. But Hejazi was different now because he was fueled by the fires of a revolution and grounded in life experiences most could never comprehend, and only a handful could survive.

“We specialize in complex projects, ACD specializes in simple contracts, together it’s a winning combination.”

The Early Days

Going from corporate to entrepreneurship can be challenging, especially for a man whose country of origin had such poor standing with his new country. “The mere mention of the word Iran was problematic in business circles, and rightfully so. But when I mentioned I had the backing of ACD, the climate of the room changed dramatically, and that put me in a position to win opportunities for my firm and build a viable business.” Overhead costs are a concern for any small business owner.

Cost concerns were especially valid regarding the projects Hejazi saw his firm vying for, as they typically involve significant capital investments. Any miscalculation or misunderstanding can be catastrophic, but thanks to his meticulous nature and the detail-oriented documents he’s found at ACD, Hejazi has yet to experience any legal challenges. “Since opening my business in the basement of my home in 1990, ACD has been my protector. Not only have they helped me build a business, but they’ve allowed me to build a reputation that garners respect throughout the industry.”


For over three decades, The SAH Design Group has stood as a true market leader with countless projects under their belts, speaking to the level of expertise this small yet powerful firm wields. There were skeptics in the beginning, but Hejazi never listened, never wavered from his stance that this was his destiny, no matter how complex it appeared to be on the surface. From clean rooms that keep hospitals safe to boutique hotels that beautify urban landscapes and all the other projects that adorn his resume, he always saw himself in this place.“I’m humbled by the opportunities I’ve been afforded and those entrusted in my firm. The work I’ve done since arriving here has all been a part of my version of the American Dream, and none of it would’ve been possible without the support of ACD. It’s that simple.”