From simple bronze age constructions to towering feats like the Burj Khalifa, human ingenuity has brought us a long way. But today’s buildings are extremely complex and require large investments. Shepherding a construction project from start to finish to maximize the value of the investment and limit errors is a daunting task and doing so requires experience and dedicated time. Mistakes and delays can be exceptionally costly, and the increasing number of stakeholders in a project means there needs to be seamless communication among the teams. Design and construction projects often present unique challenges that even the most seasoned building owners are not equipped to face. Enter Rice & Gardner - a company offering expert project and program management, building commissioning, and a variety of construction support services, alleviating the burden of planning and executing projects for building owners.
With project experience spanning a wide variety of industries, the Rice & Gardner team has built expertise in many sectors, including K-12 and higher education, medical facilities, commercial buildings, municipal projects, recreational facilities, and more. The company specializes in developing and managing programs of any scope for virtually any new construction, renovation, or upfitting project, utilizing its expertise and skill to ensure successful completion. Rice & Gardner’s diverse set of services provides their clients with everything they need to design, build, and improve their facilities.
Leveraging software such as e-Builder, Bluebeam, Microsoft Project, and Prolog, Rice & Gardner ensures seamless collaboration across teams by collecting all project data in one place, thereby mitigating future delays. By getting onboard with projects early on, the company helps clients bring in the right contractors and professionals. “We provide early cost estimates as well as updates throughout to maximize cost savings. We assist with scheduling to phase projects appropriately and consider owner’s needs and constraints,” explains Jim Rice, President of Rice & Gardner.
Rice & Gardner’s services can be broadly classified into several categories. They primarily offer program and project management, with a secondary focus on building commissioning and additional support services such as facility assessment, construction administration, and LEED sustainability services.
Through their project and program management capabilities, the company is equipped to handle projects of all kinds and acts as an extension of its clients, delivering programs that meet their vision and protect their interests. Rice & Gardner’s diverse set of staff (made up of architects, engineers, Qualified Commissioning Providers, PMP certified PMs, and LEED AP’s) offers clients the benefit of having not just the eyes of a project manager but also of a design professional and an engineer. The highly individualized nature of services ensures that the company meets its client’s needs from the first day of the project to the last. Rice says, “We tackle the day-to-day decision making and management, giving clients peace of mind while keeping projects on track. Our capabilities include developing a focused scope of work, budgets, project schedules, estimates, and cost control reports, as well as administering design and construction contracts on the client’s behalf.”
Rice & Gardner provides a quality assurance strategy through its building commissioning services, whereby the Commissioning Agent (CxA) conducts system reviews throughout a building’s life cycle to optimize efficiency, longevity, and performance. “Buildings use a significant amount of energy—about 40 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions come from building electricity and natural gas use. With environmental concerns at the forefront of most industries today, it would seem imperative that the construction industry find ways to cut this number down significantly. Our building commissioning services provide a way to cut down on energy use while also maintaining occupant comfort,” adds Rice.
Rice & Gardner’s facility assessment team can conduct a thorough assessment of clients’ facilities and provide clear documentation of site condition, building envelope, interior finishes, and environmental conditions. Post assessment, the team recommends individualized, comprehensive services to target any issues or potential issues. The company also provides planning for K-12 districts and other clients to address their future needs.
What gives Rice & Gardner a competitive advantage in K-12 and public sectors is its leadership team’s intensive knowledge of public education. A LEED Accredited Professional, Rice has spent 11 years serving as a trustee for Fort Bend ISD. He has volunteered extensively in the community chairing different building committees. His leadership reflects on his commitment to the community and public education. While working with the Pearland Independent School District, Rice & Gardner’s program management consulting services helped the client complete the $220 million bond ahead of schedule, providing significant cost savings.
Rice & Gardner’s continued participation in various large-scale projects, such as the Lamar Consolidated Independent School District 2014 and 2017 Program and Houston Independent School District 2007 and 2012 Bond Program, stands testimony to its premium service. Having worked for multiple clients, Rice & Gardner offers immense value by bringing its vast experience to bear for each new client. Since their inception, they have managed over $2 Billion taxpayer dollars on behalf of K-12 districts.
The future of project management will be defined by cutting-edge technologies, cloud-based software, and project collaboration tools. Rice & Gardner is working to provide real-time project updates to its clients and uniform collaboration across all project parties and stakeholders. “The population of Texas is rapidly growing, and this means there will be a rise in demand for schools, hospitals, grocery stores, and more. We are determined to collaborate with new clients in the time ahead to make their business goals a reality, serving each of them with integrity, reliability, and efficiency,” notes Rice.
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