RG Construction Services Inc.

RG Construction Services Inc. has been family owned and operated since 1977, when it began operations as a plastering business. But, as the drywall side of things began to take off, RG Construction headed in that direction. Today, the company is one of the largest wall and ceiling contractors in Chicago and northern Illinois.

With a defined skill set, RG Construction grew in popularity, manpower and resources. Over the years, the company was able to expand its capabilities to take on high-profile projects of varying size and complexities.

“We can do anything. But, it’s the tough projects – those with applications that are difficult to construct, those that have demanding schedules or require a large crew – that are perfect for us,” says Brian Garcea, principal for RG Construction.  “A lot of our projects are the marquee type; they have a lot of intricate detail and demanded lots of resources. We have the expertise and we know how to put it all together.”

The Dream Team

As Garcea explains, RG Construction excels in the industry because of its unique approach to each project. “We have a specialties department that consists of professionals who serve as dedicated resources for us,” he says. “Depending on the demands of the project, we shift those resources in and out of the group.”

The folks in the RG Construction specialties department apply architectural expertise and construction savvy to each project. “Our specialties crew will look at a project and identify the really oddball piece that no one really knows how to put together,” Garcea states. “Then they’ll develop a unique solution that is creative, efficient and will save the owner money. At RG Construction, we not only develop the solution, but implement it by performing the work with our own crews, thereby providing a one-stop shop.”

The specialties department at RG Construction has a unique arsenal of solutions when it comes to problem-solving. As Garcea explains, the company applies cutting-edge technology in innovative ways. For example, RG Construction uses Tate access floors when possible. This allows for air distribution from under the floor where the air can be delivered at a higher temperature for cooling and with less static pressure compared to traditional overhead systems.

“With a raised floor, most of the mechanicals are below. [This] allows for a higher clearance with less floor-to-floor height and larger windows for day lighting, which means lighting costs can be reduced,” Garcea says. “The raised floor also provides space for air distribution through a displacement process.”

RG Construction also utilizes innovative technologies, such as site-built fabric wall panel systems by Novawall, metal ceiling systems by Lindner USA, stretch fabric ceilings by Newmat and monolithic acoustical plaster by BASWAphon, which the company used in the construction of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Modern Wing.

“In the main hall of the Modern Wing, Griffin Court, the partitions are 38 feet high, finished with veneer plaster and aluminum trims and reveals,” Garcea explains. “To increase the sound absorption in the hall, we installed BASWAphon on the entire ceiling soffits surrounding the skylight, which has the look of drywall, but is comprised of a sound absorption pad that then receives several layers of acoustical plaster.”

The company has applied its resourcefulness to a number of other high-profile projects throughout Chicago, including the modernization of Midway Airport, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the recently completed Trump Tower. According to Garcea, RG Construction was the wall and ceiling contractor for the entire Trump Tower project.

“We performed all the metal framing, drywall and acoustical construction on the project,” he says. “The project took three years with a crew that reached 130 at one point. We worked on 15 to 20 floors at the time – it was a major operation.”

Similar in scope was RG Construction’s work on the renovation at Soldier Field in 2002. As Garcea explains, the company was responsible for the walls and ceilings throughout the common areas, bathrooms, concession stands, locker rooms and skyboxes. “That was a challenging project because we were working in all the areas at the same time, so we had three different crews spread throughout that whole building,” Garcea explains. “It took a lot of coordination of resources, which is an area where we excel.”

For the McCormick Place West expansion, RG Construction was responsible for all the space on the north half of the new building, which included reception space, 150,000 square feet of meeting rooms and the main ballroom, which was more than 100,000 square feet. “One of the unique things about that project was the size of the walls,” Garcea notes. “Each wall is 36 feet tall. We had to use an 8-inch, 14-gauge stud that weighed roughly 100 pounds apiece.  Each one had to be lifted into place using a scissor lift. That was another project of ours that had an crew in excess of 100 men on it. It was a large and fast-paced project with a lot of moving parts and pieces.”

Team Effort

According to Garcea, the construction industry has changed substantially since RG Construction’s entrance 34 years ago. “One of the most obvious changes is that the project lifecycle has shrunk,” he notes. “Contracts are being rewarded more quickly and the scheduled time to perform the work is shrinking. This has put more pressure on us to hone in on the project scope and how the work will be completed so we can provide a quality bid.”

Time and again, RG Construction has relied on its team of vendors to help accommodate this change in client demands. “We depend on our vendors as a resource to us when we’re bidding projects,” Garcea says. “We’re lucky to have an inner circle of vendors that support us on job quotes. These companies get us samples and do all the things that are necessary so that we can put a complete bid together and give our customers the best solution possible.” RG Construction’s key partners include MRI Steel Framing LLC and Prime Scaffold Inc.

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