Category: Uncategorized

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 »

Getting Spray Foam Right

by Rachel White This blog post was originally posted in January 2016, before we fully understood the issues of embodied carbon in construction. That research has led us to reduce but not eliminate our use of spray foam. In some cases – old basement walls, for instance – spray foam is so superior to any… Read more »

Two Carbon Smart Ideas in the Attic

unfinished attic interior

by Rachel White A wide-open attic with no storage and no mechanical equipment. I can’t remember the last time we worked in an attic like this. Most of the attics Byggmeister retrofits already house an air handler. Or they will soon, as the majority of our projects include at least partial electrification, and attic space… Read more »

Rethinking Our Approach to Insulation

an attic with a window

by Rachel White In 2018, the International Government Panel on Climate Change put the world on notice: to avert catastrophic and irreversible climate change we would have to hold global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. And to hold warming to this level, we would need to cut global emissions roughly in half… Read more »

The Road Ahead

black lives matter and social justics

by Rachel White It’s hard to remember a time when I have felt as riven by conflicting emotions as I have these past couple of months. Despair and hope. Conviction and doubt. Joy and sadness. And just as it felt like we were coming through the first dark leg of our journey through the pandemic,… Read more »

The All Electric Home

electric home

by Rachel White and Paul Eldrenkamp Even before the September 2018 gas explosions in Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover, we were encouraging homeowners to wean themselves from the gas grid. To be honest, we weren’t all that concerned about explosions, and we still aren’t. Although we don’t want to diminish the tragedy that occurred, we… Read more »

Managing a Job for Success

by Kristina Eldrenkamp This past fall, Byggmeister organized a workshop for lead carpenters on project management. The goal was to exchange ideas and best practices for launching and running an on-time, on-budget job. The event’s attendees were lead carpenters and project managers from the peer-review business network that Byggmeister participates in, Bottom Lines. The Bottom… Read more »

Sound Decisions: Designing for Acoustical Comfort

Alicia Larsen

by Rachel White Over the course of our 30+ years in business we could count on two hands the number of renovations where acoustics played a major role. While we have occasionally been asked to provide sound isolation, on the vast majority of projects acoustics aren’t even discussed. To some extent this makes perfect sense;… Read more »