Opus Terminology Glossary

Opus Terminology Glossary

At Opus, we have a rich history in the commercial real estate industry. In addition to standard industry terms, our unique fully-integrated, multidisciplinary organization has yielded some of our own terms. See below to learn more. (Tip: If you're looking for a specific term, press CTRL+F and type it in. Don't see what you're looking for? Contact us to let us know.)

  • Build More

    Our employer brand, Team Opus builds more than buildings. Together we work hard to build teams, client relationships, careers, communities and a whole lot more. The combination of our people, culture and unique project delivery method are why associates come here and why they stay – just ask them. So if you want to build more, join us at Opus.

  • Building Community

    ​This speaks to our continued commitment to stewardship at Opus and the Opus Foundation, which supports projects and programs that make our communities better places to live, work and raise families.

  • Building Information Modeling (BIM)

    ​BIM is a platform for virtual building design, development and documentation. BIM allows our clients to visualize the end product in 3D and make more informed decisions. Our in-house visualization team bring this expertise directly to our clients and partners to maximize project success.​

  • Business Partner Services

    ​Business Partner Services are internal services, including legal, risk management, environmental risk, accounting, financial planning and analysis, human resources, information technology and marketing, that augment our front-line expertise and streamline our work.

  • Certainty of Outcome

    ​Building projects require significant capital. We understand you need certainty of outcome with a building that looks and functions as designed while also having the schedule and budget managed. With our integrated model, risk is managed collectively by one team with aligned goals, rather than individual firms working independently.

  • Client Direct Services

    ​Our design-build team will work directly with a client – a company sourcing their own facility needs, an owner's representative working with a client or a developer looking for a trusted construction partner – to provide architecture, project management and construction and deliver the same high-quality project without our development services.

  • Community Revitalization

    ​One of the five Opus Foundation Focus Areas that supports nonprofits increasing the vitality of economically disadvantaged neighborhoods, including the development of small businesses, affordable housing, and/or other important community assets such as community centers.

  • Construction Drawings

    ​In the final phase of design, working with our construction experts who will oversee and build your project, we ensure constructability, finalize designs for construction documents and secure permits.

  • DB3

    ​See Opus DB3​.

  • Driven to Deliver®

    ​We are driven to exceed your expectations and empower your mission through the buildings we deliver. It's not just what we do, it's who we are. It’s our mission. Our associates not only build buildings, they help inspire, create and deliver meaningful spaces within which people accomplish their goals.

  • Early Childhood Education

    ​One of the five Opus Foundation Focus Areas that supports nonprofits providing high-quality experiences for preschool-age children, enhancing kindergarten readiness.

  • Entrepreneurship

    ​One of our six values, we are agile, creative and strategic. We make good decisions, manage risk and are accountable.

  • Executive Leadership Team (ELT)

    ​We are led by a diverse team of experts respected in their fields.

  • Field Coordinator

    ​Unique to Opus, the Field Coordinator role connects the work of our field and project management associates. They encourage and manage communication between teams of associates at Opus and manage a myriad of construction activities – coordination of subcontracted work, material and equipment procurement, jobsite safety programs, quality assurance, scheduling and site management.

  • Focus Areas

    ​To maximize impact, the Opus Foundation targets their efforts on five specific needs, or “focus areas”: Early Childhood Education, Youth Development, Workforce Development, Community Revitalization and Pressing/Emerging Needs.

  • Founder's Day

    ​Since 2012, we have honored our origins by hosting a company-wide volunteer day. Founder’s Day commemorates the day Gerry Rauenhorst signed the first contract for Rauenhorst Construction Co. Associates across the company volunteer with local affiliates of Rebuilding Together and Habitat for Humanity.

  • Fully-Integrated Project Delivery

    ​Our fully-integrated team, made up of experts in all necessary disciplines, is laser focused on innovating and collaborating on your behalf. Our experts bring their experience and perspective from project to project, working together on behalf of you toward one goal — yours.

  • Fully-Integrated, Multidisciplinary Expertise

    ​We operate with a fully-integrated team, made up of experts in all necessary disciplines, including development, capital markets and finance; project management and construction; architecture, engineering and interior design. They are laser focused on innovating and collaborating on your behalf. Our experts bring their experience and perspective from project to project, working together on behalf of you toward one goal — yours.

  • Gerry Rauenhorst Building Community Award

    ​To honor our founder's legacy of giving, we launched the Gerry Rauenhorst Building Community Award in 2015 along with the Opus Foundation®. Fueled by unwavering optimism, Gerry demonstrated an entrepreneurial spirit, creativity and a commitment to finding a better way to build a business, community and value-centered life. With an enduring belief that business has a responsibility to strengthen society, Gerry ensured giving back was a cornerstone of our organization.

  • GREENteam

    ​Taking the long-term view of how our actions affect future generations and improves every dimension of how our business operates in the natural, social, cultural and economic environment, we created the GreenTeam. Acknowledging that we all have a role as a steward of sustainability, the GreenTeam focuses on opportunities to implement sustainable practices as it relates to our business and delivery method, including engaging and inspiring all of our fellow associates and clients, advancing technical expertise and best practices, acting responsibly towards the environment and creating superior value in our buildings.

  • Innovation

    ​One of our six values, we bring creative solutions and seek to continuously improve in all that we do.

  • Integrity

    ​One of our six values, we do what we say we will, are transparent and follow through on commitments.

  • One Team; One Objective

    ​Working as a single, multidisciplinary team of in-house experts, we're one team with one goal — yours. We collaborate with you to translate your vision into a building that supports your organization's needs, culture and goals. We're building for you.

  • Opus DB3™

    ​Inspired by a client-centric vision, our founder Gerry Rauenhorst pioneered design-build project delivery. Today we refer to our unique design-build project delivery method as Opus DB3. Opus DB3 takes design-build to the next level. Whether we work directly with an owner or developer as the client or we engage internal or external design resources, Opus DB3 effectively integrates all stakeholders working as a single, multi-disciplinary team with meaningful collaboration that elevates your project delivery experience and delivers results.

  • Opus Foundation Action Team

    ​While the Opus Foundation® seeks to support nonprofit organizations in the communities where associates live, work and play, our Action Teams across the country serve as the link between the community and the Foundation. Associates who serve as Action Team members in each office help increase the scale and impact of our philanthropic efforts by connecting with community members, recommending grantees, providing annual input on Foundation funding strategies and supporting various nonprofits through volunteerism.

  • Opus Volunteer Council (OVC)

    ​The OVC is an associate-driven initiative to plan and execute volunteer activities for Team Opus.

  • Phases of Design

    ​At Opus, the phases of design are Programming, Schematic Design and Design Development and Construction Drawings.

  • Pressing/Emerging Needs

    ​One of the five Opus Foundation Focus Areas that supports nonprofits responding to emergency needs such as food, clothing or shelter resulting from economically challenging times.

  • Programming

    ​In the first phase of architectural design, we begin by listening to understand your goals. With a clear vision, we determine and document the building space needs while considering all human, physical and external factors of design. We craft innovative and creative solutions, and establish the budget and schedule requirements. Much of the program is written, but diagrams are often employed to show the physical relationships desired. As the design progresses, the program can serve as a way to continually monitor and check the design concepts developed.

  • Respect

    ​One of our six values, we treat all people fairly and equitably, work collaboratively and are a good business partner.

  • Safety

    ​The first of our six values, we promote and cultivate the safety of our associates, clients, partners and the general public at all times.

  • Safety First

    ​Safety first is more than just a tag line for us. Safety is the first of our six core values. It is front and center in our commitment to creating and maintaining an active and effective safety program.

  • Schematic Design and Design Development

    ​In the second phase of design, we graphically define project requirements, confirm entitlement requirements and prepare preliminary cost estimates. In collaboration with you, our team of experts develops your project design, and uses our unique design-build method to establish your guaranteed maximum price early on. At Opus, unlike other firms, these two steps are tightly integrated and fluid, allowing flexibility for best results, saving you time and cost.

  • Single Point of Responsibility

    ​Developing, designing and constructing buildings is a complex process with moving, interrelated parts. To simplify the process for you, we act as a single point of responsibility, assuming risk and overseeing the entire project. You are kept informed and involved, creating efficiencies and reducing your administrative burden.

  • Stewardship

    ​One of our six values, we act responsibly in our work, with a focus on sustainability and philanthropy.

  • Team Opus

    ​Team Opus refers to all associates at Opus. It’s about working together and collaborating to make 1+1=3.

  • Workforce Development

    ​One of the five Opus Foundation Focus Areas that supports nonprofits strengthening the workforce in our communities and helps position and prepare under and unemployed individuals for career advancement and greater self-sufficiency.

  • Youth Development

    ​One of the five Opus Foundation Focus Areas that supports nonprofits promoting healthy social and academic development of youth with an emphasis on supporting youth to stay in school and stay on track to pursue post-secondary education.