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GSA Invites Comments on Construction Excellence ProgramNew Web Site To Facilitate Feedback and Report Ongoing Progress

GSA #9527

October 29, 1998
Contacts: Eleni Martin (202) 501-1232


WASHINGTON, DC -- The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) invites Federal agency customers, stakeholders, industry association partners, and private-sector building industry executives to visit the new Construction Excellence web site at http://www.gsa.gov/pbs/constructionexcellence and comment on the new program and recommendations from the September Construction Excellence Symposium. To comment, click on the "Contact Us" button at the bottom of the page.

In addition to facilitating the development of Construction Excellence recommendations, the web site will be used to communicate the program's progress to the building industry.

With Construction Excellence, GSA is taking steps to expand competition for GSA construction contracts in order to improve the overall quality of Federal buildings. The program's three primary objectives are to procure the highest qualified construction service talent as early as practicable; establish and manage reliable budgets; and improve business practices to deliver the best project for the best value.

GSA Administrator David J. Barram remarked, "It is our intention -- through Construction Excellence -- to take GSA's construction program to another level, making it a hallmark in the building industry." Barram commented further that private sector participation in the development and implementation of this initiative is critical to its success.

GSA's Construction Excellence Symposium--held in September at the National Building Museum--was attended by over 150 industry leaders and representatives of contracting firms, construction management firms, building industry associations, and Federal agency customers. The event resulted in the following recommendations:

Business Practices
* Establish customer/GSA agreements on scope, schedule, and cost during initial stages of a project and develop a discipline to maintain them.
* Simplify preparation of construction documents--use industry's methods of preparing construction documents.
* Institute a new approach to partnering with GSA team members.

Procurement
* Use qualifications based procurement for construction contractors. Recognize past performance as a qualification in lieu of low bid.
* Use qualifications based procurement for construction managers. Recognize past performance as a qualification factor in lieu of source selection.
* Improve GSA's small business and small disadvantaged business outreach program.
* Form the entire team (architect/engineer, construction management, contractor, etc.) at the beginning of a project.

Budget
* Use the services of a building commissioning services (i.e. program management) contractor. Provide technical support to GSA through the entire life of the project
* Develop and implement a user-friendly, reliable management information system-- one that is accessible to all GSA personnel and our customers.
* Provide owner-controlled wrap-up insurance.
* Modify GSA consultant/contractor look-up tables to provide more realistic estimate of funding requirements.

According to Commissioner Robert A. Peck of GSA's Public Buildings Service, "Through the symposium, we developed sound recommendations for enhancing our building program, while demonstrating the benefits of the government working together with its customers and the building industry." Peck also stated that the organization would have program recommendations in place by late November, with implementation to begin in the spring of 1999.

GSA is the largest real estate organization--public or private--in the United States. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the organization has 11 regional offices and 32 property management centers throughout the nation. GSA's Public Buildings Service owns and leases 265 million square feet of space, and provides productive work environments for over one million Federal and contract employees nationwide.

For more information about the Construction Excellence program, contact Kimberly Henderson at (202) 501-9164.