Founded on Experience and Trust

Greenfire Management Services
Written by Robert Hoshowsky

From preconstruction services to construction management, owner representation and property management, Greenfire Management Services, LLC takes pride in working with clients on a range of construction projects.
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Greenfire Management Services was founded in 2010 on the basis of integrity, experience, quality and trust. The company is wholly owned by the Forest County Potawatomi Community and is a subsidiary of the Potawatomi Business Development Corporation.

Greenfire Management Services ensures all projects are expertly managed and scheduled with an eye on sustainability today and for the future while working with clients from initial conceptual planning through to project completion.

“As a construction manager, we act as an extension of our clients, from the early project conceptual planning through project completion,” says the company.

The company’s expertise covers areas including design management, constructability analysis, agency coordination and estimating, value analysis, schedule development, disruption avoidance planning, subcontractor prequalification, cost estimating, building information modeling (BIM) and construction phase sequencing. Greenfire hand-picks individuals who fit with the company’s culture and its full-time staff of twenty bring decades of combined construction experience.

With professionalism and on-time and on-budget delivery, Greenfire provides preconstruction and construction management services on an array of work, including lofts, apartments, campuses, casinos, a renewable generation biodigester facility, community gathering grounds, data centers and offices.

“One of the things of the Forest County Potawatomi tribe is that they always think at least seven generations ahead for their ancestors down the road, and they keep that in mind when making the building and other decisions,” says Nathan Keller, director of operations at Greenfire. “So we look to the same principles of quality and integrity.” The company operates independently of the Forest County-based tribal government.

Keller has a background as a project engineer and project manager in commercial construction, including industrial, commercial and healthcare. He says the company’s growth has been significant and is projected at $55 million this fiscal year, up from an average of about $16 million for the past two years.

A key factor behind the growing success of Greenfire Management Services is its set of core values and principles. Although about ninety percent of its work in construction management, Greenfire prides itself on being highly flexible and responsive to a variety of customer needs.

Greenfire Management’s preconstruction specialties include much more than cost and scheduling. To ensure the processes proceed smoothly, the company works closely with clients to identify and plan for any issues that may jeopardize budget or scheduling.

Considering that preconstruction is a process that can range from a few months to several years, it is crucial to maintain strict adherence to budget. To keep costs as low as possible while maintaining quality, Greenfire subcontracts the work. As a result, the company can negotiate the most optimal price for trade work, leading to cost-savings for owners while the project is still done by highly-qualified, non-union subcontractors.

“We are not signatory to any of the trade unions,” says Keller. “Although we don’t have self-performing work, we have a superintendent and project managers who oversee the projects on-site. The pros of being not signatory are that we are able to find the best economic value for our clients, and we are still able to focus on managing the costs the budget, the schedule, the safety and any risks associated with the project.”

The open book approach to all jobs ensures there are no hidden costs or cost-shifting, which helps achieve the best results for customers. Careful planning at the preconstruction stage gives Greenfire a distinct advantage, as the company works with not only the client, but the entire design team to successfully negotiate projects. The parties have a common goal of successful construction completion and to ensure accurate scheduling, the company uses cutting-edge project management systems.

Although Greenfire uses a highly-trained safety consultant to monitor its job sites, safety remains a collaborative effort. Project managers, superintendents and engineers are on sites playing a significant role in maintaining a safe work environment.

The company takes on projects valued up to approximately $50 million and can partner with key players for larger works. At the construction management stage, Greenfire expertly weaves together all necessary elements of a project. Its highly-qualified teams organize works and performance schedule. The team creates integrated project controls systems and material procurement and subcontracting systems.

Owners are not always able to manage construction projects, so Greenfire has the capabilities to work on their behalf as representatives. Depending on the project, the involvement can include any number of services. Greenfire serves to protect interests during the construction process, including representation of stakeholders, contractors, consultants and other parties, while defining expectations, responsibilities and parameters.

Among the company’s other services is property management. Property management is the backbone of the success of any commercial real estate investment, and Greenfire has years of proven experience in upholding strict standards. Among the properties currently managed by Greenfire are the Wgema Campus (formerly Concordia Trust Property) and the Data Holdings Data Center (on behalf of the Forest County Potawatomi).

Over the past five years, Greenfire has played an integral role in the successful development of lofts, casinos, hotels and other projects. This includes the Paper Box Lofts, a historic renovation of an apartment complex of 72 units for Sherman Associates Inc. at 1560 W. Pierce St., as well as the 83-unit Beaumont Place and the 188-unit Echelon Apartments. Greenfire is active in the Milwaukee Metro area and is poised to expand throughout the region and across southeastern Wisconsin in the future.

As an integral part of the Forest County Potawatomi Community, Greenfire is a great believer in preserving today’s world for the generation of tomorrow and is committed to a range of environmental initiatives. Fifty percent of the company’s project management staff are certified as LEED® Accredited Professionals and are dedicated to best-in-class construction practices and strategies.

“As a one hundred percent minority contractor, and being owned by the tribe, we try to pass on those principles, which include caring for the environment,” says Keller. “And our sustainability practices are driven by that.”

Among the company’s sustainable projects is the Data Holdings Data Center in Milwaukee, which was seeking silver status, yet achieved LEED Gold Certification, according to the U.S. Green Building Council. The project includes such initiatives as white PVC roofing to reduce heat, York Chillers with Fisen airside economizers for free cooling (below 60 degrees), parking stalls designed for low-emission/fuel efficient vehicles and all electrical panels being metered internally.

Eco-friendly materials are a key factor. The project is comprised of over thirty percent regional material with twenty percent recycled content. Paints low in Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) help improve air quality and using local materials cuts down on travel costs and fuel usage. In a number of cases, the company’s renovation projects have used reclaimed materials.

Seventy-five percent of the build waste was diverted from landfills – saving on both cost and fuel of transportation. Greenfire works with WasteCap, a statewide non-profit organization, to help reduce solid waste and increase the use of recycled content. This includes not only using environmentally-conscious material and markets, but sorting dumpster bins by metals or woods.

Greenfire constantly investigates new opportunities as it continues to build on its reputation for credibility, success and on-time/on-budget project delivery. A great deal of the company’s business comes through word-of-mouth recommendations from clients, design teams in the area, subcontractors, along with word spread through social media.

Greenfire Management Services continues to work on future growth plans. “We’re not looking to fit a dollar amount on volume, but profitability and strategic measured growth,” says Keller. He expects to see the company extend into commercial work, tenant improvements, healthcare and some federal work through certifications in the coming years.

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