Seamless, leadership, trustworthiness, these are all words that describe what it is like to work with an architectural firm who is an advocate for an integrated project delivery approach. The key to this approach is finding a team that works so well together you barely noticed the project involved multiple partners to achieve the overall building goals.

Every great design begins with an even better story” – Lorinda Mamo, Designer

The Integrated project delivery between TONO Group and RMS is a story that displays what a 15 year business partnership can do to help excel commercial and industrial buildings, as well as residential homes, into the 21st century.


Integrated project delivery is the approach in which multiple partners are involved in the design, construction and delivery phases to seamlessly work together to complete a project. (Wikipedia) The combined integrated efforts of the partners allow each to work efficiently and productively in their areas of expertise.

In practice of an integrated project delivery approach, there are certain partnership qualities that are sought out. One item is finding a turnkey solution provider. A turnkey solution provider is important because they tend to be more organized and communicative when it comes to sharing important information. Turnkey solution providers take ownership of their work from start to finish and in turn they allow for creative solutions as a result. Below are three other benefits of working with an architecture firm who encourages an IPD approach.

1. Seamless in being proactive

Architecture firms who practice IPD have a much more seamless process for their clients to experience. The expertise that each partner brings to their drawing board is given ample time to process each phase of the ever changing plan. This allows each partner to be creative in their approach in hopes of exceeding the client’s expectations. The teamwork between the partners creates a proactively designed space where they can begin integration of design multiple steps ahead. This process relieves and reduces project fatigue since the needs of the project are continually refined by each contributing partner.

2. Leadership in owning each process

Architecture firms who take leadership on projects and are involved throughout the process reduce miscommunication and can help take a project to the next level. Being a leader means being held accountable for your team’s actions. To ensure each step is accurate, it often requires a leader who is able to go the extra mile in ensuring the project exceeds their client’s expectations.

3. Trust in skills

Architecture firms who are highly regarded choose IPD strategic partners who they can trust. After all, it’s their reputation on the line with every single project. Successful people surround themselves with other like minded professionals. Their teamwork allows each task to be completed consistently and with the same expectations from start to finish.

Difference between an architect and a contractor
Whether it’s a new construction or a remodel project, many skilled professionals are involved in making the overall desired outcome possible. An architect is described as a skilled designer who creates the plans whereas, a contractor traditionally executes the plans. However, both play an integral part of the overall outcome.

A traditional model of this process is a design-bid-build delivery. This forces design and construction professionals who are the expert in their field to only perform the work that is tasked. It takes much of the creativity out of the process and leads to businesses winning bids based on price and not necessarily their actual skill levels or overall value. When this traditional model is used on a construction project, it lends itself to miscommunication and a slew of other negative hurdles in a project. These hurdles sometimes lead to delays, increased price, and changes to the design.

The integrated project delivery method emphasizes each partner’s strengths and ability to add value to the process. From day one, all parties are involved to ensure each piece of the project is cohesively coordinated with the other.


The 15 year business partnership between TONO Group and RMS has been described as, “One and one equals three. The teamwork, business mind-set, and drive to deliver the best client experience is like no-other in the Lancaster and surrounding areas. As a team, RMS consistently has gone above and beyond to push the creative threshold.”– D. Hunter Johnson, CEO of TONO Group.

TONO Group has partnered with RMS on several projects over the years from Residential to Commercial including our own office renovation.

Who is RMS?

RMS, owned by Caleb Fetter, is a technology integration and electrical services provider or more commonly known as a problem solver! They bring innovation to life by simplifying tasks so people can focus on other priorities more easily. RMS has worked on commercial, industrial and residential projects making the lives of others more convenient and eco-friendly!

What to expect when working with TONO Group and RMS?

When choosing to partner with TONO Group and RMS you can expect quite a few questions during the customer needs analysis phase. Anything from the purpose of a room, where outlets need to appear, how the room will be laid out, occupancy per room, environmental controls location, etc. This will start critical conversations that will help with the logistics in making each solution possible. During this phase, it is important to openly discuss budget, schedule, and performance expectations to ensure they align.

Seamless work and communication:

As single source turnkey providers, each partner takes full responsibility for its contributed aspect of the project, from start to finish. With RMS that means integrating the technology, data management systems, wiring, infrastructure, and processors. With TONO Group, it’s developing building technology in a broader sense. “We create the envelope and spaces within the building through a language of metal, wood, glass, etc.. But we’re always refining and owning that technology and know it’s changing everyday. Ultimately, we deliver environmental comfort, indoor air quality, acoustical values, and beauty.” – D. Hunter Johnson “The advantage we’ve had in working as a team is making all of that seamless. It’s our intent to have the occupant walk in when the work is done and say, I don’t know why, but I like being here.” – Caleb Fetter


IPD is a care-taking and stewardship process. As the experts in our related fields, we provide leadership in knowing what makes logistic sense and then offer creative recommendations for an improved solution. We strive to provide the best outcome even if that sometimes means saying no to an initial request. This is where building a relationship with our clients is key.

It’s being honest in educating the client, and then providing the answers they need to make informed decisions. As trust builds, our team is able to provide strategic and value-based design solutions that reach higher levels of function, performance and project delivery. In time, we become an indispensable partner to our clients helping each to make informed decisions and create places of last impact and enduring quality.

What it’s like to work with TONO
“They really deliver a better product and TONO Group’s process is well coordinated and thoughtful. They communicate and care about results.”– Caleb Fetter

Commercial Setting

TONO Group and RMS worked collaboratively via integrated project delivery to develop a multi-tenant commercial property in Lancaster which includes TONO’s headquarters. Together, they pushed the design envelope to build a living showroom to demonstrate their collective capabilities for clients and prospects. Some features include energy conscious planning, fully automated building systems, lighting controls with daylight harvesting, distributed video systems and network infrastructure. For example, settings within the automated building control system were created for different occupancies whereby lighting, temperature and security functions vary depending upon use.

TONO Conference Room

TONO Office Space

Moreover, these settings change on a space-by-space basis. For example, the primary conference room “comes to life” upon entering and automatically brings light levels and temperature to desired levels. The high definition presentation screen is initiated and ready for use when connected to any device through a cleverly concealed, retractable cable set within the custom conference table. These strategically designed features were created to enhance the experience providing a simple, reliable and intuitive control of all the room’s systems. The goal is and always has been to provide clients with a seamless solution to make their lives easier through the appropriate use of technology.

Residential Setting

On a separate occasion, TONO Group and RMS collaborated to deliver an extraordinary custom residence in Lancaster County, known as the “Mod Lodge.” Well before a shovel went into the ground, the teams invested countless hours in design, planning and engineering conversations with the homeowners developing solutions based on their needs assessment and aspirations for the residence.

Exterior of Mod Lodge

Interior of Mod Lodge

For this particular project, the TONO and RMS teams opted to employ an emerging design tool to help our clients better visualize the interiors of key spaces within the home. At a pivotal time in the project’s development, the homeowner visited the virtual reality lab at RMS to “experience” the primary living spaces using an immersive digital walk-through. From there, the team gained valuable insight and made adjustments to room dimensions to meet on-demand client needs. These critical early decisions provided immeasurable value to the turnkey project delivery team as well as the clients. Just one more example of the benefit of IPD collaboration!

The outcome of the collaboration at Mod Lodge included features like flat screen televisions that appear as custom artwork while not in use, hidden home theater wall speakers within the plaster walls, and large motorized window shades which retract into concealed cavities.

When a project starts with an Integrated Project Delivery approach the value is added early. Finding the right team is imperative and both TONO Group and RMS offer the full breadth of services as trusted partners throughout the planning, design and construction processes. If you’re interested in learning more or partnering with our team on a commercial or residential project, please contact us today.

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