Author: Rachel White

Byggmeister’s 2024 Charitable Giving: Supporting Mission-Aligned Organizations That Make a Difference

Harvard Square Homeless Shelter build

by Rachel White When Byggmeister transitioned to worker-ownership, we committed to donate 5-10% of our annual net profit to organizations that focus on climate change, affordable housing, workforce development in design and construction, and justice and equity. A charitable giving  committee selects recipients from proposals submitted by employees. In 2024, we donated a total of… Read more »

Our Evolving Approach to Energy Retrofits

by Rachel White This post was originally published in April/May 2023 issue of Fine Home Building under the title “The End of Deep Energy Retrofits.” We decided to post it to our blog with a new title (as well as a few minor edits) following feedback that the original title misrepresented our nuanced approach to… Read more »

Becoming More Just

by Rachel White Byggmeister recently received a Just Label from the International Living Future Institute (ILFI), a nonprofit working to create a society that is socially just, culturally rich, and ecologically restorative.  The Just Label is a “nutrition label for socially just and responsible organizations.”  For over a year, Byggmeister’s Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion… Read more »

Frequently Asked Budget Questions

Frequently asked questions about budgets for home renovations

by Rachel White This post is a companion piece to Early and Often: Our Approach to Budgeting. We hope that these FAQs will be a helpful resource for folks we haven’t met yet as well as for our current clients. If you think of other questions we should considering adding to this list, please drop… Read more »

Early and Often: Our Approach to Talking About Budgeting

Couple discussing renovation budget

by Rachel White A renovation project is typically one of the largest investments that a homeowner will ever make, other than purchasing the home they renovate. So, it’s essential that we discuss budget before we start planning the project.   The trouble is, it’s hard to have a meaningful budget discussion at a first meeting…. Read more »

Common Myths About Green Building

Embodied Carbon Bar Graph

by Paul Eldrenkamp We posted a version of this post in 2015. Since then, we’ve learned a lot more about the impact of our building practices and the speed with which the climate is changing. It’s even more important now that we acknowledge and move beyond entrenched myths about what truly sustainable construction is and… Read more »

Founder Paul Eldrenkamp on Worker Ownership

by Rachel White After nearly forty years as the owner of Byggmeister, Founder Paul Eldrenkamp sold the company to us, its employees. The sale capped off a seven-year planning process including a leadership transition in 2018.  During the transition process, Paul started on his next chapter as a business consultant and coach with HELM Construction Solutions…. Read more »

From Workers to Owners

by Rachel White This is the first in a two-part series on Byggmeister’s conversion to worker ownership. This post shares the perspective of the company’s new owners. The second shares Founder Paul Eldrenkamp’s perspective. On October 8, 2021, Byggmeister’s employees purchased the company from Founder Paul Eldrenkamp and incorporated as a worker cooperative. According to… Read more »

Finished Attics: A Lower-Carbon and Lower-Cost Retrofit Approach

by Brendan Kavanagh When Boston area homeowners need more space, often the first place they look is up. The problem is that many attic conversions, even those done relatively recently, have little to no air sealing, poorly installed insulation, and ineffective roof venting. The result is finished space that can be hard to heat, cool,… Read more »