Unity and Bensonwood recently celebrated the winding down of 2018 with a company party that included speeches, toasts and roasts. This annual event is an opportunity for us to honor our fellow employees, raise a glass to our accomplishments, acknowledge those areas in which we’ve fallen short, and focus our sights on the year ahead. This is also a good time to reflect on the bigger picture—the mission of Unity, and our vision for the future.
2018 was a productive year for Unity, and one in which we continued to learn by doing. On the construction front—after all, that’s what we do—we built over twenty high-performance homes for clients throughout New England and beyond. We are very appreciative of the trust that these clients place in us to build homes that are comfortable and healthy, and that will live lightly on the planet for generations to come.
During the year we made good progress on achieving the goals we had set for ourselves at the start of the year—goals aimed at improving the experience of our clients and the quality of our homes. We updated the example plans on our website, clarified the three design paths for Unity clients, hosted numerous open houses and tours, and engaged in an extensive effort to lower costs. We also strengthened our team. And with all this progress, we still have plenty of room for improvement, because the path to a Better Way to Build has no end.
Heading into 2019, we will continue to focus on improving the service we provide to our clients. These improvements take many forms, including simplifying the process of choosing fixtures and finishes, adding more value to the components that we produce in our shop, and decreasing the duration of projects so as to lower costs.
We understand that in order to achieve Unity’s mission of making better quality homes available to more people, we have to maintain and strengthen our culture of continuous improvement. This is especially true today as headwinds appear to be gathering for the homebuilding industry. Interest rates have been rising, the stock market is increasingly volatile, and the shortage of skilled labor in the construction trades shows no signs of abating. Unity’s technology-driven processes and off-site construction methods bring much-needed integration and predictability to homebuilding—an industry that is more typically characterized by uncertainty and inefficiency.
With a serious mission and an audacious vision—nothing less than demonstrating a new paradigm for better building—we are also trying to remember to have fun along the way.
Good fun abounded at our recent year-end party. In addition to creative roasts of team members who had hit certain milestones—15, 25 and 35 (!) years with Bensonwood, the celebration included several tributes to Unity founder Tedd Benson. One such tribute was a performance by a band that calls itself the “Unitarians” of a song titled Hey Tedd, set to the tune of the Beatles’ Hey Jude. The band achieved its goal of making an impression at the party, but whether they’ll be invited to perform at next year’s celebration remains to be seen!