Dan Hula
Hula Engineering
P.O. Box 194
Sand Lake MI 49343
Civil Engineering  
for West Michigan 
 PORTFOLIO (Click to enlarge)

Who We Are

Hula Engineering is a sole proprietorship. The owner is a seasoned professional engineer with many years experience in the corporate engineering environment. Hula Engineering was founded in 2002 to provide personal professional engineering services directly between the client and those involved in land development.

Why We Do What We Do

Sometimes engineers are subject to negative stereotypes as are land developers and government officials.  Good communication and a sense of working toward the same goal almost always leads to a better understanding of one another and in the end, better projects for everyone involved.  Born and raised in West Michigan, we are committed to a future of increased opportunity and a better quality of life for our children and grand children.

To that end we will engage in and encourage good land use decisions.

Good engineering practice and presentation

   Protection of the public health, safety and welfare

   Increased respect for the engineering profession

   More efficient engineering works

   Less cost to everyone involved

   Better public understanding of the human environment

Good land development practices

   More efficient land use, less waste

   Less environmental impact

   More open space

   More housing opportunities for our children

   Less public maintenance cost

Good planning and zoning

   Better quality of life

   Sense of community

   Better traffic distribution

   Appropriate densities

   Less waste of land and time

   More public cooperation

   Less environmental impact

Good design standards and review procedures

   Less environmental impact

   Less waste of time and resources

   More cooperation, better engineering solutions

   Increased public understanding

Engineers are problem solvers.  We take theory and apply it to each unique situation to develop the best answer to any given set of circumstances.  Applying a concrete policy to every situation is not engineering.  In most circumstances a consistent policy is appropriate and should be enforced, sometimes not.  Understanding the theories and engineering principles used to formulate a policy is necessary to evaluate whether or not it should be applied to a given set of circumstances.  That discernment, along with developing an appropriate and acceptable alternative is engineering.

The problem solving process:

     1. Identify the problem
     2. Evaluate all possible solutions

     3. Implement the best possible solution

Planning and Zoning
A speaker at one of the Grand Valley Metro Council events in Grand Rapids a few years ago stated the following principle:

"If you don’t like the way land is being developed, take a look at your zoning ordinance; developers and engineers simply follow the instructions they’re given."

Planning is developing a clear vision of the future.  Zoning ordinances need to be crafted to promote construction of the vision.  Historically, ordinances were developed with a vision of residential suburbs, separated from other land uses, based on the free and easy use of the automobile.  They were very successful.  That vision is changing, and our current zoning ordinances and land use decisions need to reflect that change.  If we want to construct communities rather than simply provide housing, we need to plan for it and encourage its construction through our zoning ordinances.

     Land Division

        Lot Layout

        Driveway/Private Road Layout, Design and Permitting

        Drainage Routing and Detention or Retention

        Soil Erosion & Sedimentation Control Design and Permitting


        Preliminary Plat documents and approvals

        Street and public utility construction plans


        Drainage routing and detention or retention

        Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control Plans and permitting

        Environmental permits

        Construction bidding and monitoring

     Commercial Development

        Site layout grading plans

        Drainage Routing and Detention or Retention

        Soil Erosion & Sedimentation Control Design and Permitting

        Traffic control

        Utility plans

        Construction plans, specifications, and monitoring


        Driveway and access permits

        Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control

        Environmental permits

        Drainage permits

        Mining permits

        Grading permits

        Other permits required by Ordinance


        Preliminary site evaluations

        Traffic reports

        Drainage and hydrology reports

        Specific engineering reports for reviewing agencies

     Expert Testimony



        Geometric road design

        Traffic control devices

        Zoning ordinance compliance


Twenty-five projects were engineered for the Michigan Department of Transportation, from construction of a new section of freeway in Wexford County to reconstruction of US-23 through the City of Omer, the smallest city in Michigan.  These highway projects are located from Cadillac to Barrien Springs and from Zeeland to Port Huron.  Many more road and utility projects were engineered in West Michigan with funding from local units of government or special assessment districts.  Services performed include scoping reports, geometric design and construction plans, signing, maintaining traffic, specifications and special provisions, traffic control devices and construction monitoring.
Twenty-two subdivisions, most of them plats have been completed.  Services performed include preparation and presentation of the preliminary plat to construction plans, specifications and construction monitoring.  All related permits and approvals were procured as part of the services performed.

Mineral Mines
Many mining permits have been procured.  Services performed include all drawings and exhibits required by ordinance, presentation to the public, environmental permits, access permits, and SE&SC permits.

Site Development

From paving a parking lot for an automobile dealership to a site development plan for the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa & Chippewa Indians, site plans have been prepared for a variety of uses and clients.  Each site is unique and the people involved from the client to the reviewing agencies have been different.  Each set of challenges were met and the projects successfully completed.