Gray

Employees at Gray’s headquarters in Lexington, Ky., are accustomed to the sound of a ringing bell. Every time the company wins a new project, everyone involved in securing that contract gathers to ring a large bell that can be heard throughout the building. The bell is rung once for every $1 million of a contract’s value.

As Gray is one of the top-ten-ranked design/build contractors in the country in several different categories, that bell often chimes multiple times for each project and hundreds of times a year. The company ranks second among “green” contractors in manufacturing plant construction, fourth among “green” contractors in manufacturing plant design, fifth among all contractors in manufacturing plant construction, ninth in automotive plant construction among all contractors and 10th in wind power construction overall, according to Engineering News Record. “For more than 50 years, Gray has prospered as a customer-driven design/builder because we encourage talent and teamwork, reward innovation, manage risk, learn from our mistakes and continuously improve,” the company says.

The company's recent projects include a Michelin Earthmover tire manufacturing plant in Starr, S.C.; a Caterpillar Inc. manufacturing facility in Winston-Salem, N.C.; a Caterpillar Inc. manufacturing facility near Athens, Ga.; a Siemens gas turbine plant in Charlotte, N. C.; a Whirlpool plant in Cleveland, Tenn.; and multiple projects for Austal USA in Mobile, Ala.

In addition to its headquarters in Lexington, Gray operates regional offices in Anaheim, Calif.; Birmingham, Ala.; Raleigh, N.C.; Versailles, Ky.; and Tokyo. Gray offers services such as pre-design, architecture, engineering and construction to customers in the industrial, retail and hospitality markets. 

“Our mission is that within these markets, we will be recognized as the design/builder of choice,” the company says. “We will select our customers and not just chase jobs.

“Because no market is forever and construction is cyclical, we will stimulate progress by staying tuned to market changes, and adjusting to new opportunities,” Gray adds. “Our competitive spirit means we want to win, and our mission is simple: We are building to be the best.”

Reaching Out

A large part of Gray’s winning strategy involves building relationships with customers, subcontractors, vendors and partners, as well as in the communities it serves. “We know the importance of reaching out to local businesses, hiring and buying locally whenever we can,” the company says. “Of course, the real jobs are generated by the facilities we build and by the subsequent suppliers to those facilities that follow.”

The company's ability to build strong relationships has helped it build a strong reputation. “Our success can be attributed to upholding a simple set of core values: We put safety and quality of life first, we are customer and relationship driven and we treat others the way we want to be treated,” it says.

Green Leaders 

Many of Gray's clients are looking at ways to reduce their energy costs and overall carbon footprint. “LEED certification is a badge of honor many customers want to earn,” the company says. “Not only is green design good for the environment, it’s also good for business because it helps reduce a facility’s operating costs.”

The company employs a team of LEED-accredited architects, engineers and construction professionals who help customers plan and implement sustainable design strategies. This team also works with the design and construction team to evaluate LEED credits and manage documentation.

Quality Assured

Gray uses technology to ensure the quality of all of its projects. “Our quality management system is based on our continuous improvement philosophy and reflects more than five decades of experience in the construction business,” the company says. 

“Our procedures begin day one of the project’s pre-construction phase and continue until the project is complete. It is a living, dynamic process that ensures quality pulse-points are being monitored and analyzed for compliance to the project specifications.”

Project managers and other personnel use iPads on project sites to interface with the quality management system and the project documentation system. Some of the company’s other mobile tools include a proprietary auditing software that is coupled with design and construction applications. 

“These tools enable efficient collection of data from field inspections so our teams can immediately begin the process of analyzing the data, identifying trends and proactively collaborating corrective measures for any quality deficiencies that may be identified,” the company says. 

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