By Stacey McCarthy for Construction in Focus Magazine
When Rice & Gardner Consultants Inc. was founded in 2005, it was an opportunity to merge two complementary services: program management and MEP engineering. However, more importantly, the company’s inception was based on a vision: to truly serve their clients and the communities in which they worked, both in the Houston area and throughout the state of Texas. They wanted their business efforts to also be an influence for positive change. This common value can be seen through both business and personal ventures undertaken by the firm, with President, Jim Rice, leading the way.
A year after incorporation, the firm added building commissioning services, perceiving a high demand within the industry. Commissioning also rounded out the other services as each discipline lent a natural insight into the other. Staffing Program/Project Manager, Engineers, and Commissioning Authorities gives Rice & Gardner’s clients the benefit of multiple perspectives for each project.
The company rapidly grew over the next decade – so rapidly that they were recognized four times in their first eleven years on the Houston Business Journal’s ‘Top 100 Fastest Growing Companies’ list, most recently in 2017. And it was no wonder that the company received this award so often, as the company has enjoyed a 135.95 percent revenue growth since 2012.
Considering themselves to be in the problem-solving business, Rice & Gardner works on a variety of projects for municipalities, private developments, private schools, colleges, universities, restaurants, and dialysis clinics. As an example of this, when Hurricane Harvey hit the state in August 2017, the company stepped in to help with insurance and FEMA recovery claims.
However, with Jim Rice’s background, passion for education, and the state’s rapid population growth (currently twenty-eight million and projected to hit fifty million in the next twenty-five to thirty years), public educational institutions are the biggest market for the company’s services.