Author Archive

  • July 1, 2019

    XL Construction, an award-winning Bay Area general contractor, has announced the promotion of industry veteran, Richard Walker, to President and COO. The appointment expands Walker’s responsibilities to leadership of all company operating units.

    Eric Raff, a founder and former President / CEO, will remain in the position of CEO, focusing on corporate and organizational strategy.

    Walker joined XL Construction five years ago from Balfour Beatty Construction to oversee operations. In his time with the company, he has helped drive significant growth and build key services, including preconstruction, construction technology, and sustainability.

    “This change recognizes Richard’s tremendous contributions to the company over the past five years,” said Raff. “He brought a new perspective along with some great strategic thinking that has been critical to our growth and success. Having Richard in this role will allow us to leverage his strengths across the whole company and continue to deliver successful, purpose-driven projects and lasting client partnerships.”

    As President, Walker will oversee day-to-day company operations, facilitating continued excellence in delivering award-winning life sciences, advanced technology, corporate office, civic, healthcare, and education projects throughout the Bay Area and Sacramento. This will enable Raff to focus on long-term company vision and strategies for retaining its status as a top-ranked Bay Area general contractor, Best Place to Work, and Healthiest Employer.

    “I am honored to carry on Eric’s 27-year legacy and continue to work with him during this next exciting phase of the company’s growth and development,” said Walker. “Eric’s vision and leadership has made XL what it is today – a truly purpose-driven organization with outstanding reputation with its clients and employees alike.  I look forward to building on his vision and helping to ensure the company endures for generations to come.”

    Walker has 30 years of industry experience. Prior to joining XL, he served as a Senior Vice President with Balfour Beatty Construction, and before that was a Vice President with construction firm Howard S. Wright Contractors.  In both positions, his responsibilities included strategic planning, project management and business development.  Earlier in his career, he led acquisition and development for Kimpton Hotels, and was a partner at a real estate law firm.  He holds a B.S. in finance, with a minor in economics, from San Diego State University, and a J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of Law. He serves as Executive Board Member for HomeAid Northern CA, a nonprofit dedicated to addressing homelessness. He is also active in NAIOP and other industry organizations. He resides in Berkeley with his family.

  • June 27, 2019

    The new Animal Services Center will provide best-in-class shelter facilities and community space


    XL Construction breaks ground on the new County of Santa Clara Animal Services Center in San Martin, California. The new facility will replace an outdated, undersized facility with a new state-of-the art center featuring kennel space, an animal clinic, community space, and a park.

    The County of Santa Clara Animal Care and Control Department has been housed in a converted residential property since 1978. Several additions and temporary portables were added over the years but can no longer accommodate the County’s needs.

    “The shelter staff are an incredibly inspiring and dedicated group of people,” said Craig Ellis, Vice President from XL Construction.  “To be able to provide them with a facility that helps them achieve their mission in an environment that is healthier both to the animals and the people who work there, is extremely gratifying. Our mission is to ‘build to improve lives;’ this project enables us to do just that.”

    The new facility was designed by Dreyfuss + Blackford Architecture, in collaboration with animal care designer, Bacon Group, Inc.

    Key features include:

    Animal Care Center: kennel pods and open exercise yards, free-roam rooms for cats, a small animal area, and barn.

    Animal Clinic: surgery facility featuring exam rooms, radiology, surgery suites, recovery suites and a private grief room.

    Park: a landscaped open-air courtyard that functions as a central meet-and-greet location for adoptable dogs to get to know potential owners.

    Community Space: large meeting facility available to both the County and other community organizations featuring a commercial kitchen and assembly area for up to 150 seated or 300 standing occupants.

    The building is designed to LEED Silver standards and is expected to be complete in 2021.

  • April 19, 2019

    We are so proud to have been named the #1 Best Place to Work AND #1 Healthiest Employer by the Bay Area by the Silicon Valley Business Journal / San Francisco Business Times! Thanks to the entire XL team for your votes and for making our workplace so great!

    This is the third time in the last six years XL has been named #1 in the Bay Area Best Places to Work Awards. The difference this time is that we are in the “Large Companies” category vs. “Medium” and “Small” where we sat in 2017 and 2013 respectively.

    These awards remind us that putting people first and focusing on culture really does make an impact to XLers. Way to go team!

  • March 29, 2019

    On May 21st, Project Manager Erin Allred and Superintendent Mitch McDonald accepted the national ENR Best of the Best Project Award for the Design Tech High School project at the annual ENR Awards of Excellence Gala in New York.

    ENR’s annual Best Projects awards program annually recognizes the best construction projects in the U.S. and the companies that designed and built them. The Design Tech High School was recognized as the most innovative K-12 education project of 2018, honored for being a novel example of a successful public-private partnership and for its unique collaboration with the school’s students, teachers and parents to develop the design.

    XL proudly accepted the award alongside project partners from Oracle Corp, DES Architects + Engineers, BKF, and Integral Group. Learn more about the Design Tech High School project here.

  • October 4, 2018

    The Ford Innovation and Research Center is the award winner of the ENR California Best Projects 2018, Manufacturing category! The success of the design-build project was made possible through full alignment and collaboration of our entire team including Ford, Harley Ellis Devereaux (HED), Mazzetti, and, Paraigm Structural Engineers. Click here for more information on the project.

  • April 27, 2018

    Heart disease is still the number one killer of Americans. XL is committed to supporting American Heart Association in their research, education, and community outreach programs in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Hard Hats with Hearts event on April 12, 2018 raised more than $1.4 million!

    And we plan to stay involved; Alan Laurlund is serving as one of the Hard Hats Chairs for next year! We are looking forward to it! 

  • April 9, 2018

    We are happy to have played a role in delivering this beautiful, custom, and environmentally friendly building to Sonoma AcademyOur approach empowered the project team to learn the green building systems and products within the building. They now have a thorough understanding of how to best navigate the rigorous task involved in achieving Living Building Challenge, LEED Platinum, and WELL Building standards. Check out The Registry article for more on the topic!

  • March 22, 2018

    XL’s Kelley Cowan and SRBX‘s Women In Construction committee were recognized on the Assembly Floor for educating, inspiring, and advancing women in the construction industry and helping them build meaningful careers. This group played a role in gaining support and bringing awareness to ACR-182 Women in Construction Week, a resolution for the State to support policy efforts to achieve at least 20% women in the construction industry by 2020.


  • March 21, 2018

    XL’s La Entrada Middle School New Classroom  project team hosted a site tour for a group of curious students and their parents. The two-hour tour included team and role introductions, personal protective equipment (PPE) explanation and distribution, seeing mock ups of finishes, safety demo, and a walk through where the students saw construction in action.

    What a great way to use a construction project as a living classroom to show students how their new classroom is constructed.

  • January 9, 2018

    The Design Tech High School located on Oracle’s headquarters campus is now open! Click here to find out about the design thinking model and why it’s a pioneering high school.