Alex Lord: Quarterbacking Building Projects, Start to Finish

4/22/2020

​From the moment a project is conceived until the last piece of construction equipment leaves the site, our development, design and construction teams are continually collaborating to deliver a high-quality, successful project. Our one-team, comprehensive approach has distinct benefits for clients, including establishing the guaranteed maximum price early, creative design, speed of delivery, cost savings and certainty of outcome.

Coordinating the cadence of all that activity is handled by the “quarterbacks" of Team Opus: project managers like Alex Lord. 

“In addition to facilitating and managing the project with internal teams, project managers like myself work closely with our clients, acting as a single point person for communications throughout the life of a project," said Alex. “It's a much smoother process for them than the design-bid-build process, which usually requires dealing with multiple firms and an elongated preconstruction process.  It's also better for Opus because it enables us to be nimble and efficient."  

As Project Manager, Alex develops the project scope, estimates costs and creates the initial project schedule. Additionally, he manages the procurement process, self-performed work and subcontractor production. Alex ensures communication and cooperation between everyone involved, including architects, designers, field personnel and clients.

Building on an Architectural Background

“I've always been interested in the built environment," said Alex. “So, in the eighth grade, I decided to “try to" be an architect. That led to taking some drafting and architectural classes in high school, which helped me apply and get accepted into the college program I wanted." 


In 2013, Alex graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in architecture from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. After college, he worked as a project coordinator for a large residential builder in Cincinnati, drafting and managing preconstruction architecture for the homes they built in Ohio. 

“After about 13 months in that job, I realized I wanted to learn more about managing the whole process and take my experience in design and preconstruction to the next level," he said. “The commercial building industry was attractive to me due to the variety of projects, so I applied for an Associate Project Manager position at Opus. Shortly thereafter, I was offered the job and found myself moving back home to Minnesota in 2015." 

It was an exciting time for Alex; he was soon learning how to manage projects from beginning to end from some of the best construction project managers in the commercial real estate industry. 

“I have been lucky to be paired with awesome leaders during my time at Opus," he said. “Many of them have been here for 20+ years and have a great deal of experience. They've seen almost everything and are great coaches and mentors." 

Alex's first project was in Ames, Iowa, where he assisted with managing the design and construction of Geoffroy Residence Hall for Iowa State University. The university's first new residence hall in more than a decade, it was a significant project that required thoughtful design to enable student interaction and flexibility for future needs. In addition, we were able to deliver a bed count 12% higher than the university's minimum requirement – all for $1 million less than the university's targeted budget. Geoffroy Hall went on to become the most requested dorm on campus. 

“I think that's pretty cool," he said. “It makes me feel like the job I'm doing has purpose and matters." 

Alex was promoted to his current role of Project Manager in 2019. 

“I think the best thing about Opus is the people and the collaborative nature of the company," Alex said. “Being able to just walk downstairs and ask your architect a question, versus trying to explain something over the phone and get answers from another firm, makes us a lot more efficient. Opus has provided many opportunities, allowing me to take my career in new, exciting directions. No two days are the same, and I'm challenged every day, in a good way. It's truly rewarding work."

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Alex is a member of the Design Build Institute of America and U.S. Green Building Council. He's also a member of our own GREENteam, focused on sustainability in our buildings and how we operate, and Future Builders. 

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Our associates are talented, dedicated and knowledgeable. They streamline complex projects and always deliver value to clients. Read more profiles of our team.