How We Work: Our Unique Design-Build Model Maximizes Results


​When Gerry Rauenhorst founded our company 65 years ago, he was looking for a better way to deliver projects for clients. Inspired by a client-centric vision, he pioneered the design-build delivery model. Today, our design-build model continues to deliver projects that will save you time and money. Specifically, our model establishes the scope and provides certainty of outcome, sets a guaranteed maximum price earlier and delivers increased value.

Establishing Scope; Providing Certainty of Outcome

Our fully-integrated design-build model and unique expertise allows us to successfully mitigate schedule risks. Beginning early in the design phase, we work closely with the client, our architects and other stakeholders to develop and agree upon the project's scope. We then look at the whole picture and identify where possible stress points may arise and proactively develop solutions. And the people who will be hands-on in the field—our superintendents—are involved right alongside our architects and project managers from the very beginning to ensure constructability and identify stress points early on.

With our fully-integrated model, we're able to provide certainty of outcome for our clients, which means the building looks and functions as designed and the schedule and budget are managed to. Learn more about our commitment.

Guaranteed Maximum Price: Guaranteed Earlier

Working within our model, clients receive the guaranteed maximum price earlier than with other models. This can create bigger burden of risk for us. However, that risk is a motivator, and paired with our strong culture of innovation, we find ways to offset any unexpected cost fluctuations and improve the quality of the outcome for our clients. 

Delivering Increased Value

We focus our pursuit and project resources where we can add incremental value. We work hard to avoid commoditizing our services and instead deliver high-quality buildings with lasting value. For example, we recently completed a residence hall for Iowa State University with everything they wanted and more—for over $1 million less than their target budget. More specifically, our solution added 12% more beds than ISU's minimum requirement at a cost per bed that was up to 45% lower than that of similar public university residence hall projects. 

All this was a direct result of our differentiated delivery model. From the beginning, we spent time truly understanding ISU's vision for the university and the building specifically. With that understanding, we incorporated incremental betterments that added tremendous value for ISU. As with other projects, we delivered the residence hall on a tight schedule, allowing ISU to fill the rooms and recoup their investment as quickly as possible.

[Learn more about how we made ISU's vision a reality in our white paper.]

And nearly 70% of our Client Direct Services projects are with return clients. We're proud of these strong relationships, and we use a rigorous client research process to understand our clients' feedback on our process and experience. Everything we learn through this process is integrated into our work to increase the value we deliver to our clients. Listening to our customers is key to our innovation and continuous improvement.