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Duane Carlson
Vice President of Construction
AvalonBay Communities
San Francisco, Calif.

We require all contractors to complete a detailed prequalification questionnaire. We want to make sure the contractor’s management team has a minimum of five years of experience and expertise in its selected trade and field. We also check references from other developers to see how the contractor performed on past projects.

A contractor’s safety record and financial balance sheet are equally important, so inquiries are made to the Contractor State License Board and OSHA to see if any complaints or serious violations have occurred. We also verify the Experience Modification Rate (EMR) to see what workers’ compensation claims their insurance provider has paid. We shy away from contractors with EMRs in excess of 1.

Financial qualifications are determined through rating agencies, primary bank inquiries and balance sheet reviews. We award contracts based on the most qualified, competitive bidder that can meet our zero defect quality of standards because we are along-term property owner.

Thomas Boyle
Hospital Corporation of America
Nashville, Tenn.

Construction is more than transforming raw materials into a finished building. It takes people who not only know the technical aspects of the business, but also have the interactive skills to communicate ideas and resolve conflicts without alienating other team members. The criteria for picking the best of the best revolve around the project team members, experience in the market where the project is located, past on-the-job knowledge of the institution and performance under pressure. Finally, a firm must differentiate itself from competitors by showing built-in value that the owner will realize in terms of cost, quality and time.

With the construction economy fluctuating as much as it has in the last five years, many companies’ focus has shifted or their personnel has retired or left the industry. The challenge is to find firms that have adapted, hired good talent and demonstrated how they can deliver a quality project quickly and at a better value than in the past.  

Theophilus R. Nix, Jr.
Corporate Counsel
DuPont Corporation
Wilmington, Del.

Safety is a core value of DuPont. It is as important as price. We require each contractor to submit its safety record with its bid. Contractors must agree to follow our extensive safety procedure or, at a minimum, have a detailed written safety policy similar to DuPont. We reserve the right to terminate a contractor for safety violations.

We also are seeking contractors that are willing to expand beyond their current locations. If they are local, will they expand statewide?If they are statewide, will they expand regionally? If they are regional, will they expand nationally? If they are national, will they expand internationally?The more contractors are willing to be flexible and go where we need them to go, the more work they will get.

Finally, diversity is important to DuPont. As a global company in more than 93 countries, DuPont understands that successful companies will not sustain growth without understanding this simple proposition: Workforce diversity is an economic benefit to a company and not a moral issue.

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