Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 53
Renovation work at the home began last year and concluded
in August. White Builders' work included improvements to the
building envelope, new electrical, mechanical and fire suppression
systems, and a four-stop residential elevator. The work has not disrupted the home's historic details and finishes. "This has been a lot
of fun for us, as we've been restoring and updating the home at the
same time," White says.
The company was brought into the project early during the design
phase. That allowed it to work closely with architects Tsoi Kobus &
Associates to resolve constructability issues early. "This made for a
very collaborative project," he adds.
White Builders is currently working with Austin Architects on the
preconstruction phase for an upcoming renovation of the Conservation Law Foundation's office in Boston. The project is expected to
begin later this year.
Other examples of the company's work include renovating an
academic building at Lesley University in Cambridge to make it
more accessible to people with physical disabilities. The project
scope, designed by Harrison Mulhern Architects, included modifying stairwells and installing a new elevator serving the building's
basement and three above-ground floors. The elevator installation
required White Builders to perform shoring and underpinning on
the building's foundation before the new elevator shaft was placed.
Behind the Scenes
closely with architects and
subcontractors on its work.
PHOTO CREDIT: NEWBRIDGE ARCHITECTURE AND GREG PREMRU PHOTOGRAPHY
bumps. Fortunately, my father had great relationships with subcontractors, suppliers and clients that trusted and liked working with us,
so when the transition happened, those partners made it easier."
Following his father's passing in September 2016, White became
president and owner of White Builders. He says he feels a strong
responsibility to honor his father's legacy while finding his own path
in the business.
"My father was more of a doer - he never thought of himself as
being management, and was more focused on the physical aspects of
our projects," White says. "If he didn't like how something was coming
together on-site, he would go home, get his tools and fix it himself.
"I have the same passion for building that he did, but am more
focused on building a lasting business," he adds. "I believe that if
you have the right people and give them latitude to make the right
decisions, they will be successful."
White Builders is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. Marshall
White's father, Dennis White, started the business in 1977. "He took
this company from being just himself to handling an annual project
volume of $3 million a year," Marshall White says.
Marshall White first became involved in the company when he
was 10 years old, performing chores just as sweeping floors and
washing windows on job sites. As an adult, he has worked in a variety of capacities for the company.
White started taking on a larger role in the company three years
ago after his father was diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia,
a degenerative brain disease. "The plan was always to transition the
business, but that put a shorter timeline on everything," he says. "We
did the best we could to transition smoothly, but it wasn't without its
The company uses high-tech
methods to keep in contact
with clients and others.
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017 CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM