Our History

From humble beginnings and four employees


Built Around Excellence and Complete Customer Satisfaction

XL was founded in 1992 in the heart of Silicon Valley. Founders Eric Raff and Dave Beck set out to create a construction company built on the idea of excellence and complete customer satisfaction. As the company grew, it found its niche in technical building. The XL teams were extraordinarily good at understanding complex building systems and contributing to solutions for the facilities users. When Mario Wijtman joined the executive team in 1998, XL turned its technical prowess to the life sciences industry. Building for healthcare was a natural next step. Within a few years, XL’s core markets were coming clear; science and technology, education, structures and interiors, and healthcare.

XL’s purpose was uncovered in 2006, when the company was undergoing a rebranding effort to keep up with its continued growth. As part of the process, Eric began an informal employee survey asking them what it was that made them so passionate and proud about their work. Almost to a man (and a woman) the reply he got back was that the projects XL built mattered; that they helped kids learn, people heal, scientists discover. Thus, “We build to improve lives” was born.

The ensuing years saw XL apply that purpose to all aspects of the business, expanding it from just the projects it constructed to an idea that informed employee practices, approach to teamwork and partnership, and community service.

Today, XL has three offices in the Bay Area and Sacramento and employs over 400 people. Consistent emphasis on customer satisfaction has led to about 80 percent of new projects coming from existing clients. XL is regularly ranked among the top General Contractors in the Bay Area by the Silicon Valley Business Journal/San Francisco Business Times, as well as one of the Best Places to Work and Healthiest Employers.

25 Years and Counting

25 years ago, XL was founded on the principle of providing excellence in construction delivery and client satisfaction. Over the years, the idea of excellence and going beyond solidified and came to include employee development and growth, technical skills, partnerships with design and trade firms, and service to the community. And the company grew!
From humble beginnings and four employees, XL has become one of the top contractors in the Bay Area, has been voted by its employees as the Best Place to Work, and generates over 80% of its work from repeat clients. It has been a great journey so far, but there is more to do.

We will continue to lean out, get ever more efficient, find more effective ways of aligning all parties on a project, better serve our clients, and build the next generation of builders. With a solid foundation beneath us, we are ready for the challenge.

See Our Journey »