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Who We Are Our Background Philosophy Focus Sectors Our Approach Pre-Construction Construction Differentiators Proven Process Procore Toolkit Giving Back

Gardner Builders is a

hospitality company

in the commercial construction business.

We are a general contractor focused on delivering projects – both simple and complex – in a way that gives you complete confidence that you are in excellent hands. We help our clients be the best at who they want to be. A space is designed to meet several factors: business need, efficiency, and aesthetic while also reflecting personality. We work closely with our clients, design and trade partners to deliver quality spaces that meet the design intent while protecting the budget and schedule. Each project is a partnership; we are all in this together.



The idea was simple: create a place where people love their work and build awesome projects for our clients while providing them world-class service, collaboration and hospitality. Gardner Builders was launched in October of 2010 during the second great recession. We were the new company in town and a relative unknown, making us the “risky” choice for potential clients and trade partners. The first two years were filled with excitement and disappointment -- we didn’t have investors; we didn’t have a website; we didn’t have a lot of wins. But we did have wins. And with every win, we got the opportunity to show how we were different – how we were better, how we were the best. We listened to our team and our clients. We improved our systems and honed our craft. Communication, material procurement, and jobsite logistics became second-to-none. By delivering daily logs on every project, we carved a niche that didn’t exist previously. Our growth has been strong and steady, but we’re extremely picky about who joins our team, adding only who understand our delivery model and focus on hospitality. Today we have over 100 employees and are the premier builder in the central business district of Minneapolis. Additionally, we have expanded into the Twin Ports district and opened an office in Duluth in 2016. We build interiors, including renovations, remodels, repositioning, refreshes, change-of-use, and white box spaces. We also concentrate on ground-up construction, healthcare and service work. There is no other firm in this market or industry that does what we do the way we do it. We love what we do. And our clients love how we do it.


We have passion for the built environment. We pursue excellence in all that we do and strive to be the best in our category. Frankly, we believe we are. We approach our work with humility and it shows. When it comes to relationships with our trade and design partners we’re way ahead. But that’s not enough. We want to be the best partner that it’s possible to be. So, we’re always searching for better materials and procurement methods. Analyzing our approach to hospitality. Expanding our project delivery options. Refining our systems for project delivery. We stay busy. We’re very, very comfortable with technology. Technology is what enables us to be nimble in our operations, reduce errors and deliver a better value. Technology helps power new and delightful customer experiences. We’re pioneers in using iPads in the field for daily communication, shop drawing review, RFI’s, tool tracking, scheduling and cost control. By utilizing Procore we’ve set ourselves apart from the industry standard. We see the future of construction, and we see endless opportunities. Gardner Builders aspires to be the platinum standard when measured against other builders. We’re changing the construction industry. We understand that projects are more than technical metrics. Experiences matter. Empathy matters. The people that work with you on your project matter. It’s not just what we deliver, but how we make you feel. Our brand is driven by who we are – we are builders, entrepreneurs, and friends living and working in the Twin Cities and Duluth. We stand behind our projects. We take pride in what we do. We hope you will too.



Our innovative approach sets new standards for an industry that has been around since the beginning of time.

Hospitality it isn’t just about what we do; it’s about how we make you feel. We want our clients to feel

respected, heard and understood, included in the process, informed, taken care of, highly satisfied, and really excited about their new space. Gardner Builders is more than just a construction company – it’s a company among great companies to do business with.

Transparency with Our Clients our clients’ needs and desires are foremost in our work. Every

project is customized to maintain open communication with the client. We welcome our clients to actively participate in the building process: visit job sites, ask questions, voice concerns. We view listening and problem solving as critical job responsibilities. Our onsite field staff provide daily activity reports to the client, architect, and building manager with project updates and photos.

Positive Partnerships with the Design and Subcontractor Communities we don’t beat up our partners to deliver on promises made to the client. We know embracing mutually-beneficial relationships with designers and trade partners results in credibility and trust with our stakeholders, longevity in the market, and most importantly, successful projects for our clients. Flawless Execution high standards are the standard at Gardner Builders. In fact, if we don’t exceed client expectations, then we haven’t met our goal. Our goal is to exceed expectations every time. Our use of technology with field staff, development of building playbooks, and project schedules are designed to result in zero impact during the construction process and a zero punch list upon project completion.


PROJECT FEATURE ECMC Roof Deck | Downtown Minneapolis




L EED an d L i vi n g B u i l di n g C h al l en ge A c c re d i te d


PROJECT FEATURE Bank of America | Edina 6,933 SF Ground-Up Project




Our end purpose is to provide an

outstanding experience during the construction process.


PROJECT FEATURE Baker Center Reposition| Downtown Minneapolis 1,000,000 SF In Partnership with JE Dunn



We take pride in our approach to projects, and from our experience at other companies, we understand our approach to be a true differentiator in a construction partner. For every project, no matter the size or scope, we listen, plan, communicate, execute, and do our best to have fun. Our approach makes us better partners, bringing greater value to you and to your project. Listen – Our approach will first be to listen. Listen to the project stakeholders and the project team. We will work together with them to gain a complete understanding of the areas of greatest concern. The people who are focused on the business are an endless resource of knowledge and we want to take the time to listen to them and hear what is important as it relates to the entire project. We will then take this knowledge and plan. Plan – We will utilize our experience in interior buildouts along with the expertise of the team to develop a complete view of how this project should unfold into construction. Specifically, we will identify long lead items and areas of impact that do not follow a logical sequence as it relates to this specific project. As an example: we will work to develop a schedule and site-specific phasing plan based on the over all project schedule. This will enable us to sequence traffic flow, construction operations and move events in an orderly fashion. After the plan for construction flow is established we will have a firm grasp on how the project will be built and then we can work toward the establishment of a contract price. Communicate – We will be tireless communicators throughout the process. We understand that tenants have clients and businesses to conduct, so we will work to understand the avenues of communication that best suit this project, the project team, and those impacted by the activities of construction. We have found that you cannot communicate too often. Our staff on site will be well known for their constant communication. We will take the lead from the

architect and client, but would fully enjoy being a part of leading communications with those who are interested in how construction is progressing. We realize that without communication, understanding is not possible, and neither are exceptional results. Our approach: listen, then deliver. That’s why we customize every project to maintain open communication. We welcome our clients to actively participate in the building process: visit job sites, ask questions, voice concerns. We view listening and problem solving as critical job responsibilities. Execute – Once a contract price and schedule are established and agreed upon, the plan has been set in place and the subcontractors are on board, we will begin to execute the Work in a methodical way that will be heard and seen by few, but will be appreciated by all at the completion of construction. We will lead weekly project meetings with our team to log progress and adjust to any new challenges. Have Fun – Projects are better when the team working on them has fun together. We intend to embrace our fellow team members and look forward to telling the stories of what fun we experienced on this project for years to come.

“We’re not just about meeting standards; we are about exceeding expectations — delivering a cost-effective, low-impact, excellent service to our client.” 15














P R E-C ONSTRU CTION Feasibility Studies – Gardner Builders was recently engaged in a year long consultation partnership with Star Tribune. The goal was to identify a location that achieved the desired design intent while honoring the desired budget. Working from a design narrative, Gardner applied it to possible locations. Comparing the findings, certain advantages became evident, and through ongoing budget reviews, open communication, and a willingness to go the extra mile, the team ultimately arrived at a decision they felt confident with. Estimating Techniques – Conceptual estimates, programming level estimates and other early estimates will be performed in house by Gardner Builders. We will seek key subcontractor input to these early estimates to verify there has not been a substantial short-term shift in the marketplace costs for the major subcontractors. As the design becomes more refined we will seek the purposeful input of additional subcontractors and suppliers to obtain both their suggestions of constructability and realistic cost estimates for their respective areas of work. Because Gardner Builders enjoys the respect of the subcontracting community they provide us with meaningful estimates that do not contain contingencies and undefined costs. Constructability – Gardner Builders proactively involves our own superintendents, field personnel and major subcontractors and suppliers in constructability analysis. The ability to accomplish design intent in the construction process is key. Being involved early allows us the opportunity to have a great impact on design as it relates to constructability. Gardner Builders has worked closely with architectural organizations on numerous interiors projects incorporating constructability analysis.


Value Engineering and Value Analysis – VE and VA are procedures that occur in conjunction with constructability reviews. These concurrent activities provide the greatest value when the “what” of the design intent is supported by the ‘how’ of constructability. Design intent and constructability are in turn overlaid with which building systems provide the greatest value for the lowest probable cost resulting in the greatest final value for your project. Schedule Control – Our experience has shown that the key to schedule control lies in clearly communicating all of the project stakeholders’ requirements. Understanding when a particular scope of work is to be completed such that the next phase or subcontractor can perform their scope of work in an efficient manner is important for the success of the project and the success of the subcontractors. Gardner Builder’s experience from the application of LEAN construction techniques has further enhanced our ability to drive project schedules. We will utilize FastTrack 10 to create a master schedule and make periodic updates to this schedule as more input and information is received. We also utilize a 3-week-look-ahead schedule that gives the client an up to date view of activities on a weekly basis.

C O NSTRUCTION Quality Control – Quality is intrinsic in the products specified. How those products are installed and their operational functionality is how that quality is experienced. Rigorous attention during the shop drawing approval process is a key event to ensuring the final quality in the building systems and appearance. Scope Control – An inclusionary design phase (including major subcontractors and suppliers with the architectural and engineering team) assists in keeping the project scope contained. Maximizing user functionality, square footage and building systems overlaid with the schedule, quality and budget expectations can set the tone for keeping the project scope from “creeping” beyond our client’s expectations. Budget Control – Conceptual estimates, programming level estimates and other early estimates will be performed in house by Gardner Builders. Because Gardner enjoys the respect of the subcontracting community they provide us with meaningful estimates that do not contain contingencies and undefined costs. Bid Phase Administration – Depending upon the complexity of the construction anticipated we might recommend “early” selection of subcontractors. Less complex systems and materials will be selected through an invited bidders list. We manage our subcontractors in a positive team based approach by seeking their input and suggestions about how to best leverage their expertise while providing them the opportunity to earn a profit and holding them accountable to their respective scope of work. Job Cost Control – Job cost accounting is a very important part of every construction project and it is very important that we - being the stewards

of our client’s money – track it very closely. In as such we utilize Foundation, a construction specific job cost accounting software, to track all job costs. During construction, we will update the client with monthly job cost reports. Communication – Gardner Builders’ principal goal for project communication is to keep everyone up to speed on what is happening in the progress of the project. With this goal in mind, one of the first things we do during pre-construction is set up a project specific communication plan with all of the key players. This plan details how to we will communicate schedule, cost, scope change, interface with the building and many other items that need to be kept in the front of mind through out the project. This document sets expectations for all and allows each party to manage toward these expectations. It also establishes procedures specific to this project that keep team members up-to-date and promotes a dialogue to collaboration. As it relates to specific project communication with subcontractors, vendors and other project team members Gardner Builders uses the software programs such as Procore for meeting minutes, RFI’s, change orders, submittals and other correspondence. We also utilize FastTrack 10 (master schedule) and MS Excel (3-weekrolling schedule) for scheduling. Self-Performed Work Possible self-performed work by Gardner Builders includes: rough carpentry, finish carpentry, demolition, and site clean-up. We always solicit bids from these trades to ensure that our rates result in the best value for our client.


We’re not better than anyone, but no one is better than us. We believe the following three differentiators set us apart: DIFFERENTIATORS





CULTURE - From the very beginning, we set out to create a place where all employees love to work. Each team member contributes to our company culture; opinions are valued and people are seen as individuals.

TECHNOLOGY - It is our desire to remain nimble in all we do, constantly learning, adapting, and improvising. We utilize the latest software and applications to enhance communication with clients and project partners.

RELATIONSHIPS - We value genuine relationship with all those we interact with. We act as partners, always looking to build collaborative teams and act in the best interests of those involved. 20


1. Discover

2. Understand

Our first step is always to set the foundation for an authentic relationship based on trust. We start out by learning a little bit about you and sharing what makes us tick. Some of the topics we may cover include:

Next, we set out to gain an in-depth understanding of what matters most to you and your business. How you feel is important to us! We will discuss:

• Your Firms Goal, Why, Purpose • Our why • Our History • Our 3-uniques






• Your Goals • Your Objectives • Your Concerns - What are you worrying about at night? • Potential hot-buttons • Ideas/Brain Storming • Our leadership and knowledge as builders




3. Map

Business, like life, is all about how you make people feel. It is that easy, and it is that hard. - Danny Meyer


Our simple promise to you is that we will fix whatever you are not satisfied with.



6. Guarantee



We create a custom roadmap for your project by relying on proven steps, insight and team collaboration before your project begins. Planning ahead is key! Some of the items that help ensure your experience is tailored to your needs, but is also consistent and reliable include the following:



• Estimating Process/Software • Bid Tally Sheets • Schedule Creation • Phasing Map • Procurement Log • Furniture Partner Engagement • Low Voltage/Audio Video Partner Engagement • Trade Partner Resourcing • Material Supply Chain Management



5. Welcome

4. Build

We realize that the end of our construction project is a beginning for your team. We will help your transition by ensuring that the details are taken care of, including:

Once we are on site, we utilize the following in our toolkit to foster a smooth build;

• Punch List • Operations and Maintenance Manuals (O&Ms) • Tutorials Training • Financial Close Out • 1-month follow-up/check-in • 11-month Warranty Follow Up

• Construction Management Software • Weekly Updated Schedule • 3-week rolling and forecasting schedule • Daily Log • Weekly Meeting Minutes During construction, we will keep you informed constantly.




Procore is a mobile and collaborative all-in-one platform built to streamline construction project management. Gardner Builders makes use of this intuitive platform to keep all team members informed in real-time.


By automatically aligning project contracts and change orders with the budget, Procore makes it easy for the project management team to review financial performance for a project and make informed financial decisions from the field. Procore allows the team to track expenses against budgets in real time, and provides visibility to the client as to the financial status of the project. Information is summarized and communicated in simplified terms.



Procore’s change events tool is designed to track potential costs on a project by better coordinating the entire change management process. Project changes and adjustments are inevitable, and communicating those changes quickly and accurately is important to us. Efficiently managing all types of changes, especially those that result in additional scope and cost to a project, is crucial to the project schedule and budget.


The entire team will always view the latest, most up-to-date schedule; users can choose to change the task start date, finish date, or the percentage complete for each individual task. This happens automatically in real time, so that users never have to worry about tracking schedule version numbers or revisions. The Procore schedule tool offers a calendar view, by day, week, or month, as well as gannt chart view.


When an RFI is created, Procore automatically sends an email notification to the ‘Assigned To’ person and any members added to the distribution list. The assignee can reply to the RFI from the email they received, and all will see the response. Those responses are all stored in Procore for any team member to view at any time. Procore allows for the correct answer/s to be distributed with the final RFI resolution email.

Procore Toolkit DAILY LOGS

Daily logs are key to our proven project success. We take pride in crafting a custom report every single day - allowing the recipient to view pictures, weather, manpower and more as the project progresses. Procore allows our team to create these logs easily and distribute to a wide audience in seconds.


Procore’s drawings tool is designed to manage and archive project drawings and revisions to ensure that team members always have access to the most current drawing set. Some of the features include: - View all revisions for drawings easily from a mobile device - Share markups with your team -View drawings offline


The submittals and procurement tool provides architects, project engineers, project managers, and subcontractors with a way to ensure that the correct products and quantities are installed on a project. A streamlined submittal porcess ensures materials are ordered promptly and correctly, which safegaurds the budget and schedule. The entire project team, including our client, is able to view the procurement log and understand at a glance if an item is on or off track. We believe in full transparency, and our Procore log proves to aid us in transparent and effective communication.


Procore’s meeting tool is designed to help manage effective project meetings. It streamlines the process of creating a meeting agenda and quickly converts meeting agendas to minutes. We tailor this tool to meet specific needs for meetings within your project. The tool also allows for ballin-court items to be clearly established and deadlines are linked with each task so that all team members are clear on their deliverables.







Gardner Builders prioritizes giving a portion of earnings to help provide financial support to both our local and global community. Since inception, Gardner Builders has donated over 10% of company earnings to charitable causes. Below are a few of the organizations we supported through sponsorships, donations, and volunteering. Visit to learn how you can join us.


“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” WINSTON CHURCHILL

Frontline Resource for Child Abuse


“Clear and constant communication is a badge all the Gardner staff wears. They are the best I’ve seen with use of technology to convey information with photos and reports, truly being issued daily.”

“Gardner Builders have successfully set themselves, head and shoulders, above the rest and I look forward to working with their team in our future projects.”



MINNEAPOLIS 730 Second Avenue South Suite 1233 Minneapolis, MN 55402 O (612) 326-6377 F (866) 234-3133

DULUTH 2 West First Street Suite 133 Duluth, MN 55802 O (218) 302-1438 F (866) 234-3133



Gardner Builders Booklet  
Gardner Builders Booklet