How to Be a 21st Century Builder

January 3, 2019
RGB flow on a road at night
Photo: Unsplash/Tobias Carlsson

Massachusetts-based design build firm Polhemus Savery DaSilva recently offered their current business model as an example of how the single-family construction industry can get with the times.

The firm was founded in 1996 by Peter Polhemus as one of the first fully integrated design and construction firms in the area. Says firm principal and son of Peter, Aaron Polhemus, “Until now, residential home construction has been a matter of reinventing the wheel each time,” telling Forbes, “Construction has been one of the most resistant sectors to technology. A system like that is broken – there is no accountability and no one knows where they stand," and that it is no longer acceptable for the home builder of the 21st century.

Buyers are more interested in the process and want more information today than ever before, says Polhemus, “Our clients expect a project to be managed so that they can be connected,” he says. “It is a very different world from even five years ago.” As a result, the firm offers a 15-minute presentation, easing internal communication on the project, and creating more open and streamlined collaboration at every level. “It fosters a more enjoyable design and building experience for clients, for PSD, and for trades partners."

Few processes are as antiquated as that of building a house. While every other field has benefited from new technologies, building a single-family house is still a clumsy process affected by far-off manufacturers, supply deliveries, unreliable labor, the weather, the schedules of subcontractors and the varying whims of the client. Almost any unforeseen event can slow things to a halt, costing the builder and the homeowner lots and lots of time and money.

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