Today, custom foundations are Bartley's Corp.'s forte. "We pride ourselves on doing difficult work no one else wants to do," Jim Bartley says. "It might be a complicated addition or a single-family home with unique details. We differentiate ourselves from our competitors with this work. A lot of our customers do odd-ball jobs with 10- or 12-foot walls, retaining walls built into their designs, and other unique features like that."
Nearly 20 years ago, Bartley Corp. expanded into light commercial work because it had the talent on staff to help them diversify into this sector. Much of Bartley Corp.'s expansion over the years, however, has been related to its residential services, namely excavation, demolition, waterproofing and helical piers. Over the last few years, the company has broken into green building by offering insulated walls, pervious concrete and concrete homes.
"I really believe in concrete houses," Bartley says. "I see the green movement in general and in this economy as a whole as a good opportunity to get people to think about concrete houses. There's a small niche of home buyers who are looking at concrete houses. Not a lot of people know they can have a concrete house. But this green movement is throughout the economy and it gives us an opportunity to show people what we offer in the green area."
Bartley Corp. currently works with a track builder and a few custom home builders who are emphasizing energy efficiency and green certification in their homes. Bartley Corp. has two concrete homes and one concrete addition under its belt, with a couple more in the pipeline. Concrete homes are something they offered in the good economy, but Bartley sees even more opportunity opening up in the current economy because people are interested in saving money on energy.
Bartley Corp. uses two insulation systems in conjunction with its aluminum forms: Thermomass from Composite Technologies Corp. and ThermaEZE by CertainTeed. Bartley notes the company has won jobs with these systems that were originally specified for ICF construction.
The company has two employees who are certified pervious installers through the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA). Bartley expects pervious concrete to take off in his area of the country where new homes are being rebuilt on small lots with limited green spaces for stormwater drainage.
The recent emphasis on green building has opened up a new set of clients for Bartley Corp. to pursue. They have contributed to LEED Homes and have seen a growing interest in energy efficiency. And as they grow their expertise on the residential side, that knowledge and experience will help them garner sustainable construction jobs on the commercial side.
"We're trying to be visible whatever way we can be visible. That's all we can do - make ourselves known as someone who can do this work," Bartley explains. But it's the company's ability to offer anything concrete for its customers that makes it a successful and viable concrete business. "We need 'cookie cutter' houses as well in order to feed the number of people we have in the field," Bartley says. "We haven't lost that original foundation focus, we're just trying to augment our business."
At A Glance
Company: Bartley Corporation, Silver Spring, Md.,"BartleyCorp.com
Affiliations: CFA, ASCC, NRMCA, ABC, NAHB, USGBC
Residential and commercial cast-in-place concrete, excavation/demolition, waterproofing, green building, concrete housing and helical piers.
Key products and equipment:
Trowels from Allen Engineering and Bartell Morrison; New Holland skid steers; Kubota mini excavator; Daewoe track hoe; Caterpillar loaders; CertainTeed ThermaEZE; Composite Technologies Corp. Thermomass; LiteForm Technologies Lite-Deck; Plastbau Technology Insul-Deck; forming systems from Precise, Tuff n Light, Doka, Durand, Wall Ties & Forms and B.E.P. Big Panels; Epro Waterproofing Systems; CertainTeed Platon; Putzmeister 38-meter pump; Trimble total stations and LM80; Allen Engineering roller screed for pervious; International trucks; Atlas cranes; Honda generators; Ford and Toyota pick-up trucks; Gravel Conveyors, Inc. Gravel Canons.
Bartley Corp. is a CFA Certifed Foundation Contractor