Why are we here?

The post below is taken directly from our internal team wiki. The intent of sharing it here is to give a bit more context to what it’s like working with us and lay out our motivations for doing the work that we do. We’d love to hear your feedback in the comments section below.


The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

apparently not Albert Einstein

We are here to solve problems.

We want more buildings that last centuries instead of decades. We want durability and resiliency so that we can conserve limited resources. We want to help people create sustainable shelter for generations to come.

But building problems keep occurring. Roofs leak or blow off. Windows leak or get covered in condensation. Basements (you guessed it) leak or become dank and unusable.

We know how to build so that performance problems are avoided. The fundamental knowledge about how to build better is readily available.

Yet, we keep making the same mistakes and problems keep occurring.

Why? What can we do differently to create better outcomes?

Ultimately our goal is to solve our clients’ problems. Typically, for us, this means making a building work better than it currently does. For example…

  • stop the water from coming in
  • make it less drafty
  • reduce condensation
  • keep stuff from falling or blowing off

Notice that none of those problems are anything like…

  • lack of a report
  • no drawings
  • unclear specifications
  • weak slide deck

This is a key distinction. We are here to solve our clients’ actual problems, not necessarily to create all of the stuff that consultants typically get paid to create.

All of those consultant deliverables are only tools. We can, and should, work to continually improve our execution of these typical consultant deliverables. But we have to do more.

We need to rethink our strategy at a fundamental level.

To truly create better outcomes, consistently, we need to make meaningful improvements in the routines that have existed essentially unchanged forever (at least in the modern era of construction). These old routines have been failing us for decades and it’s a fool’s errand to believe they will start producing better results in the future.

Our job is to drop the pretense and find the answers to our clients’ problems, wherever those answers may be.

We are here so that when our clients call on us they can be confident that their problem will be solved. Not just that they will get a solid report, someone sitting in the weekly meetings, or some photos of the work.

To reach that end, everything is on the table. Nothing is sacred. We’re all ears to all ideas and we value all input. We are always innovating.

We want to forge deep camaraderie with our project partners including clients, contractors, and material manufacturers. Everyone brings something to the table and everyone should be heard.

It is our job to create an environment where everyone on the project team truly believes we’re all on the same side. No excuses, no finger pointing. Just solutions.

We certainly don’t have all the answers yet. But we’re going to work hard to find them.

Our Goal: Problems solved. Period.

We are here for our people.

We’re going to do all of this while maintaining a work culture so good that it has to be experienced to be believed. This is not just a benefit, it’s an identity that we all contribute to every day.

Work should be engaging and energizing way more often than it’s not. It is incumbent upon us to create opportunities for our fellow teammates to stretch themselves and learn while feeling safe to take risks.

We want everyone to get to all of the recitals, games, and graduations. Enjoy time pursuing the hobbies and side projects that keep life interesting. Take those bucket list trips. Get a good night’s sleep—every night.

By trusting and empowering one another, and by encouraging balance and harmony in all aspects of life, we are going to develop resilient capable knowledge workers that can keep pace with a dynamic world and solve these big problems—and keep on solving them in perpetuity. Burn out doesn’t help anybody, but smart, talented, gritty people performing at their best can move mountains.

We are here to create meaningful improvements in the built environment while empowering our team to design and construct their ideal lifestyle.

The CopelandBEC team enjoying a build day at Habitat for Humanity with our friends from Tripi Engineering.
The CopelandBEC team enjoying a build day at Habitat for Humanity with our friends from Tripi Engineering.

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