BUILDING FOR THE FUTURE NOW
RICE AND GARDNER CONSULTANTS PUT THE SMART IN SMART BUILDINGS
BY JOE SOUTHERN
Smart buildings require smart construction and even smarter construction management.
That’s where Rice and Gardner Consultants, Inc. comes in. Founded in 2005 by Jim Rice and the late Kevin Gardner, the firm provides services to school districts and other businesses to make sure buildings are constructed and operated with maximum efficiency.
“When you look at how buildings have evolved over time, if you went back over 100 years, for example, when you looked at a set of construction documents that had been prepared for a school building they were pretty thin. And that’s because the construction materials and the construction techniques had not really changed very much for probably over 100, maybe 200 years,” Rice said. “In the ’50s and the ’60s we saw the advent of all sorts of new construction materials in terms of flooring surfaces, walls, interior finishes and things of this nature. Then buildings began to be air-conditioned, they began to have a lot of indoor plumbing and they began to have interior artificial illumination and electrical wiring and those kinds of things. As time has gone on, buildings have become much more complex than they used to be. And that has been good and it’s also been bad, because we have a lot of different specialty products and specialty systems in buildings today that don’t always work together and don’t always work as they’re intended to work the first time out of the box, if you will.”
Rice and Gardner’s first client remains its biggest client to date – the Houston Independent School District. “They have 263 campuses. That’s a lot,” he said. Other educational clients include Galena Park ISD, Lamar Consolidated ISD, Stafford MSD, Episcopal High School, Bellville ISD, and Alief ISD. School districts have a wide range of facilities from those under construction to those that predate air conditioning and other such amenities.