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Constantine Builders embraces lean construction as part of growth strategy

George Constantine says that more family time travel and the senior golf tour beckon so he has initiated a transition plan that in a few years will conclude with his son Paul leading Constantine Builders Inc.

While that transition is occurring though George and Paul are establishing Constantine Builders as a healthcare construction specialist – it’s the only firm endorsed by the Washington State Dental Association as their preferred contractor and all their project managers and superintendents have the Healthcare Constructor Certificate for construction in healthcare facilities from ASHE – and one on the cutting edge of lean construction processes.

Constantine Builders is among the first firms to complete the AGC Education Foundation’s Lean Construction Certification Program (LCCP). AGCEF customized the series specifically for Constantine who sent all their construction personnel controller and three of their select subcontractors through the six modules.

width=280Since its inception just a few months ago the LCCP has generated much interest among AGC members who can take the series through traditional classroom setting for all interested parties (new series starts this month) or customized for individual companies as Constantine did. The program has had so much success that it is now being exported as AGC of San Diego is offering the AGCEF’s series to its members.

“We want to continually improve our delivery of service to our customers” says Paul (photo) noting that clients particularly those in health care are increasingly embracing lean principles.  “The lean series has helped us tighten our scheduling and minimized rework which leads to a more satisfied customer. It’s all about continuous improvement and investing in our people to deliver exceptional projects.”

That continuous improvement will help Constantine meets its goal of 15 percent growth for each of the next five years. “We plan to stay in the Puget Sound region and do more projects of similar size and scope” explains Paul. “We don’t want to grow just to grow; we want to grow the right way.”

Constantine Builders has been on a growth track even during the Great Recession.  “We’re fortunate to have increased volumes and hired more during the economic downturn” Paul says of the firm that George established. “The growth was possible by delivering exceptional value to our clients before and during this time.” And while continued growth will include their health care work Constantine will also seek to continue its work in restaurants high-end residential manufacturing and new office construction and TI. Among the accolades for Constantine’s work was the 2010 NAIOP Office Development of the Year Award for the Orion Building a multi-story medical office building.

One contributing factor to Constantine’s continued success is its relationship with AGC.  Constantine is a qualified member of AGC Safety Team and has had staff attend a variety of AGCEF classes including CECSCL (erosion control) and the Supervisory Training Program (STP). “We’re not a huge contractor with in house-training” says George. “We think AGCs Education Foundation is an outstanding and cost-effective platform for education for a company of our size.”

Paul has taken advantage of some of these opportunities himself during his five year tenure at Constantine. He has a Civil Engineering degree from USC and an MBA from Seattle University and he looks forward to taking on more responsibility as the transition unfolds. “One thing I’ve learned from my father is that that if you deliver value to the client – if you put customer needs first – new work will come.”

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