Progressive Construction Procurement – Six Targets for Your Procurement Plan (Besides Savings)

In a recent article I discussed the concept of progressive procurement.  In that article I cited the benefits of progressive procurement and showcased the Manchester City Council as a successful example.

The Manchester City Council’s employment of progressive procurement included a move towards a Centralized Procurement department, Sustainable procurement policies, programs to encourage Small business contracting, and a program to encourage local supplier awards.

Manchester City experienced a number of positive results from these policies and appear to be making even greater strides towards the future.  So how can a progressive procurement approach be applied in construction?

Today I want to propose six factors besides savings that you can consider in your design and construction procurement program.

Disadvantaged Businesses Enterprises (DBE)

This one is easy.  Today every modern procurement program should have targets for disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) awards.

To implement a DBE award target into your procurement program, consider setting spend targets as a percentage of your total annual spend.  Also, write into your policy allowances for second tier spend to count towards your targets.  This means that if your GC hires a DBE sub-contractor, the spend counts towards your target.  Consider incentivizing your GC to award DBE’s by revealing your DBE spend targets ahead of award and solicit from each GC the names and spend value for all of their DBE subcontractors.  Ensure you communicate to the GC’s that a portion of your award decision will be based on the percentage of DBE spend included in the bid.

Diversity Employers

Everyone likes to promote that they have DBE targets, but have you ever considered award targets for diversity employers?  Many top tier employers have diversity and inclusion policies that promote employment of a diverse workforce.

To implement a diversity employer award program, consider setting spend targets as a percentage of your total annual spend.  Include a section in your qualification questionnaire to solicit each company’s current employee diversity percentage and assign a weight to this section.  Include this in your award decision.

Recycled materials

Almost every category of construction materials available Today includes some Company producing materials that utilize some percentage of recycled materials.  This makes adopting a target like this easy, achievable, and simply the right thing to do.

To implement a target for recycled content, set a percentage goal to utilized some percentage of recycled content in every project.  Collaborate with your Architect to ensure they specify materials with a certain percentage of recycled content.

You can add depth to this policy by also asking the GC to include with his bid a written narrative describing how he would implement a recycling program to reuse or recycle materials and waste on the job.  Make this a part of your scoring criteria and include this in your award decision.

Energy Efficiency

When people think about energy efficiency in the context of construction, they typically think about energy efficiency in the operation of their buildings.  That’s a nice initiative for your facilities department, but what about the energy used during construction?

There are many ways to save energy during construction and saving energy means saving money.  Consider the fuel used for electric generators, delivery trucks, carting dumpsters, or running heavy machinery.  Did you know that the EPA has set fuel-efficiency and emissions standards for heavy equipment?  That’s right!  Bulldozers, backhoes and excavators produced after 2015 are required to meet Tier 4 standards.

Set energy efficiency targets to encourage and promote the use of modern fuel-efficient equipment and promote practices that reduce wasteful idling.  These targets can be easily monitored by asking GC’s to keep a fuel log.

Solicit a fuel management plan from each GC during your solicitation to make this a part of your selection criteria.

Not only will you be saving the environment, you’ll be saving money too.

Modular Construction

Nothing saves time and money more than the use of modular construction techniques.  Fabricating and prepping components and systems in a shop results in higher quality control and reduces the time of construction significantly.

To promote the use of modular construction techniques, ask your GC for a sequence plan and make “modular construction” one of your evaluation criteria.  Be sure to communicate your evaluation criteria for the GC’s so they know you’ll be looking for that.

Local Materials

Sourcing materials locally is a great way to save money and build up your local community.  When you source materials locally, you reduce the cost of carting and you promote efficiency.  This also helps build local relationships.

Solicit from your GC’s a supply chain strategy identifying the location for materials.  This will allow you to see where they plan to source materials from.  Be sure to let your GC’s know that local sourcing is something you are looking for and you’ll see your neighbors shine.


So there you go, these are my top 6 progressive procurement targets for construction.  All of these are great ways to promote positive public relations.  Promote these kinds of initiatives and you will start to see the cosmos respond in kind.

What about you?  Do you have any other progressive procurement initiatives?  Which one of these 6 do you want to adopt?






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