BOND: Into a new century of relationships

BOND: Into a new century of relationships

In 1907, the company’s founding, Thomas J. Bond borrowed $500 from his mother to set up a business building sidewalks in Everett, Massachusetts. The company is still headquartered there and today BOND is run by its fourth-generation CEO, Edward Bond, Jr.

A family culture is desired by large corporations, although it often eludes them. However, BOND has a commitment to its people that has attracted top construction professionals and engineers over the decades and has built a commanding presence throughout New England.

A strong dedication to partnership and long-term relationships with clients, alongside an established niche in academic and healthcare sectors, persuaded Tim Peer, P.E. to join the company as Vice President of District Energy in 2016. The company saw an opportunity to expand its power and energy related services work with this strategic hire. A licensed professional engineer with more than 25 years’ experience in the evolving power and energy industry, with a specialization in campus district heating and cooling, Peer’s background is a great fit for BOND.

“This is highly technical work and it meshes well with the core quality of BOND,” says Tim Peer, P.E. “It requires the ability to work effectively in logistically challenging sites, such as tightly built urban environments that are hard to access. Typically, we are working within an operating, mission-critical facility. For instance, when renewing a central heating plant, one plant may be providing all the thermal requirements of the entire university. If it is a research university, or they have a large medical facility on the campus, the reliability of that facility is critical to the operation of the entire institution.”

BOND has a strong track record in delivering energy projects with a team of experienced people. Examples are the combined heat and power (CHP) plant developed for Lahey Health at its Burlington, Mass. campus and the upgrade of Brown University's Central Utility Plant (CUP) and utility networks, both completed in 2015. “Over the last 15 years, BOND has completed more than $1 billion in energy-related work. For some of this work, BOND served as construction manager but many of these projects were self-performed. BOND is one of the few New England construction managers with a self-performing workforce on its payroll.

The long-term relationships that have been cultivated over the history of the company with several major institutions directly led to the development of a dedicated District Energy Division. Leading the Division, Tim Peer has extended the company’s footprint along the East Coast including New York City and throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region. The team has been strengthened, he says, by recruiting professional and licensed engineers not only on the construction side, but also in the areas of operation and maintenance of district energy plants. “It gives us deeper insight into how these plants can be integrated into operating facilities. We know how to operate and maintain these plants, train staff and commission them without disruption.”

The human element, understanding the challenge and the client, are key strengths of the company. Nothing is left to chance and staff have access to the best technology platforms to deliver consistent and top-quality results. Peer explains, “For example, we perform 3D laser scanning services so we can go in and reality-capture the entire facility and create our own 3D models to facilitate planning and trades coordination. We have several platforms to manage site safety, quality and financials, and staff managing the job with handheld tablets.” This eliminates paperwork, while giving people the ability to access the latest drawings, information and the 3D coordination model without leaving the site.

The estimating stage is made transparent using the established Winest program. Project scheduling is managed through Oracle's Primavera software. Modeling is achieved using Navisworks and Revit from Autodesk, and document exchange transmitted through Newforma. On site platforms include BIM 360 for safety and field management, and all of this is integrated with the company's financials. Technology is a portfolio of tools, and Tim places long-term relationships at the center of the company's thinking. “Over time we have been able to create a pool of knowledge in the company about how these clients want work done and how they operate. This allows us to be more cost effective for them.”

The business model of BOND’s District Energy Division is to engage at an early stage. “It’s important to get involved before a project is out for bid. We have to engage with the client early and understand the processes established to do the work successfully.” BOND has developed many new services for its clients, including consulting services. Project planning and constructability reviews are of value to a client when deciding how to meet future energy needs. The company can provide the initial feasibility assessment before proceeding to a full investment grade feasibility study and an accompanying full cost proposal. At this point, the client can decide as to whether to proceed. “We are a contractor and much more,” he says. “You can perhaps call us a project integrator based on our ability to design and execute systems into existing operations.”

Tim Peer