Submitted by BW Kennedy & Co.
In 2023, BW Kennedy & Co. is a leading Boston-area builder that puts in place over $150 million in construction volume annually, primarily for life science clients and developers that specialize in this sector. However, when founded 14 years ago in 2009, the company consisted of Brian Kennedy and two employees working on small construction projects for repeat clients.
Not content with the status quo, BW Kennedy began to build their own firm. They rejected the old models, feeling that a partnership approach with the owner and a transparent process could be a better path to success. This approach broke with many established norms of the industry.
Partnership and transparency opened up the doors to collaboration and communication between owner, builder and the entire project team. BW Kennedy assembled a highly skilled team and formed strategic alliances with leading mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection companies to provide a design-build option for project delivery. Our design-build approach has benefitted clients in terms of saving time and money, allowing for creative solutions to project challenges, and generally, making the construction process much more pleasant for all involved.
In 14 years, the company has grown in terms of number of employees to over 50 and the size and complexity of projects, yet the principles Brian established at the beginning haven’t changed much. Our teams still work in the field rather than the office. Project teams still execute all the tasks on a project basis in order to provide the client service and quality project the client expects. Our people are well-rounded construction professionals who can build, manage, and problem solve any issue. The firm continues to employ a robust preconstruction phase during which we work with the client and users to understand the details of the project and plan for any challenges that may occur in construction. When we engage in a final plan and budget, the project has been so thoroughly analyzed that non-owner changes rarely occur.
Our first ground-up building, completed in 2017, was a 91,000sf life sciences building and 258-car parking garage. Since then, we have built numerous lab-ready life science buildings such as a 224,000sf life science building and 1,075-car parking garage in Lexington’s Hayden Research campus, and we are currently building a new 700,000sf, five building bio-manufacturing campus in Devens, Mass. In addition, BW Kennedy has developed a specialty in transforming former office buildings into state-of-the-art life sciences facilities. Beginning in 2010, we have performed many core and shell renovations resulting in tenant fit-outs once the buildings were leased.
From humble origins, BW Kennedy & Co. has grown to become one of the region’s most successful building and construction management companies, while maintaining its original values.