So Long, 2021!

In a blink, we’re almost halfway through January! We have a lot to be excited about coming up in 2022, and we’re eagerly looking ahead to the new year. Before that, though, let’s take a minute to reflect on 2021 at Copeland Building Envelope Consulting.

On January 1, 2021 CopelandBEC had 3 employees. Over the course of the year we have added 5 new team members bringing us to 8 total!

All those talented people put their expertise to work on some great projects including a major balcony and column rehabilitation, comprehensive building envelope repairs at a waterfront property in Scituate, and historic restorations at Dartmouth College and The Essex Apartments in Holyoke. We worked at Harvard, Southern New Hampshire University and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. We even worked in a TV studio! Overall we started nearly 50 new projects in 2021, in addition to many long-term projects that carried over from previous years.

overall photo of James Landing Condominiums, Scituate, MA
We worked on a comprehensive building envelope repair project at this waterfront property in Scituate, MA.

We also started a podcast about building envelope science. This was a lot of fun and we created 5 episodes for our first season. Episode 3 on roof wind design was a real highlight. As it turns out, more than doubling your team and solving all those building envelope problems eats up some time, so the show has been on hiatus for a bit. Expect a second season in 2022.

#3: Roof Wind Design with Jennifer Keegan, Jim Kirby and Ben Meyer of GAF Pushing the Envelope

To keep our burgeoning team connected and efficient during these digital-first pandemic times we’ve continued to invest in cutting-edge technologies and in developing systems to make the most of them. Slack has been our “virtual office” since 2020 and Fieldwire has been our go-to for field data management. In 2021 we added Asana to our tool belt, an incredible platform for task management. We create systems using these technologies, and others, that save us (and our clients) time and keep us focused on what we are best at: solving building envelope problems.

With our team growing by 167% over 2020 we needed to find a way to share all of the CopelandBEC institutional knowledge and systems across the company. We’ve created an internal wiki, collaboratively edited, that lays out all we know for everyone in the firm. This is a life-of-the firm long-term project for us, and it will be the cornerstone of providing consistent value to our clients as we continue to grow.

We love our work, but our team also took advantage of our unlimited vacation policy to stay balanced and recharge. We traveled to India, floated down the Erie Canal, and road tripped across America. All those time-saving systems and technologies we talked about? The ability to have a rested and focused team is one of the best rewards.

The Hoover Dam—one of many engineering marvels and wonders of nature encountered on a 2021 cross-country road trip

When I started CopelandBEC in 2018 I wrote:

As much as I engineer building envelope systems, I also intend to engineer the system of building envelope consulting, from the ground up.

In 2021 we made great strides toward that goal. I’m as proud of the business that CopelandBEC has grown to be as I am of the peace of mind we have brought to our clients along the way.

Of course, there is work to do. We encounter buildings that need TLC (or more!) every day and we’re passionate about solving these problems. Better-performing buildings help us all; they’re more comfortable, durable, use less energy, and are even prettier to look at! This is our contribution. This is our corner of the world that we can make better.

Here’s to doing what we can to improve our corner of the world in 2022. Let’s go!

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