Building and remodeling are in Joseph Malcarne’s blood. When he was 13, he gutted his bedroom and put it back together−alone while his parents were away for three days. “I know buildings from the ground up, every aspect of them,” Malcarne said. “I touch them, and they speak to me.”
Today, in addition to building expertise, his company, Malcarne Contracting, located in Rhinebeck, NY, provides another, equally important service: As a Multifamily Performance Partner through New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), he can connect his multifamily customers in the Hudson Valley with financing options and financial incentives to keep projects moving forward. Qualifying for NYSERDA incentives and Green Jobs−Green NY low-interest financing is sometimes the critical deciding factor for building owners and developers to push ahead with a project−and the ability to offer that help has been essential to Malcarne’s success.
In 2007, Malcarne Contracting launched its multifamily construction and remodeling business on the heels of several years of participation in the Home Performance with Energy Star program, which supports residential energy efficiency contractors. As company president Joseph Malcarne sees it, Malcarne Contracting is now in the ideal position to apply its energy efficiency expertise to the multifamily construction and remodeling market. “Anyone can use the building-as-an-envelope approach, in theory, from the comfort of their office,” Malcame said. “We have the building science and theory background, but we back that up with real-life experience on the job site.” It’s a combination that has built Malcame’s reputation as one of the leading contracting companies in the Hudson Valley. But for many multifamily building owners and developers, accessing financing alternatives and incentives is just as important as working with a skilled contractor.
As a Multifamily Performance Partner, Malcame Contracting can help its customers qualify for assistance and financing available through NYSERDA. This can be a springboard to qualify for grants and funding from other agencies and sources, and even make the difference between project “go” and “no go.” “Being a Multifamily Performance Partner opens doors for these customers–and for Malcarne Contracting,” Malcarne said. Investing in the Multifamily Performance Program yields unexpected dividends. Since becoming an MPP Performance Partner, multifamily projects have become increasingly important to Malcarne Construction.
Today, multifamily renovations and new construction make up about 70 percent of the company’s business. That transition has required investments in tangible resources, such as an air sealing and insulation division created in 2008, and in ramping up to fully participate as a NYSERDA Multifamily Performance Partner. The effort, while rewarding, brings challenges. “I’m probably like a lot of contractors who run their own businesses: I have pretty rigid ideas about how I like to do things. Transition time is necessary,” Malcame admitted. “NYSERDA requires a paper trail of its own, and it takes time, and sometimes patience, to become familiar with the process.
“For example, we need to provide concise reports on costs and projected outcomes. Getting that discipline under our belts took us about six months.” For Malcarne, the investment in becoming a Multifamily Performance Partner has paid off in unexpected ways. He especially appreciates the technical assistance provided by TRC Solutions, NYSERDA’s implementation partner for the Multifamily Performance Program. “TRC staff are awesome, period,” he said. “For one thing, they’ll get answers to your questions immediately. And more importantly, we appreciate their high standards–they hold us accountable, and they keep us sharp.”
MPP benefits make a good business even better. The ability to offer financial incentives and access to technical consulting are just two of the benefits of being a Multifamily Performance Partner, Malcame said. For his company, MPP is a valuable source of new business leads, which come via trade shows, NYSERDA~sponsored events, and the NYSERDA website. Training opportunities available through the program are also excellent, Malcame said, and they provide a resource for him to improve his business. “MPP is an excellent source for the classes your technicians need. Networking with peers is important, too,” Malcame said. “I never miss the annual Partner Conference.”
One of the program’s most important advantages is all encompassing. “It’s credibility,” Malcarne said. “It’s a rigorous process to become a Multifamily Performance Partner. You have to qualify on a professional level, plus you have to prove that you have the administrative resources to support your customers and NYSERDA reporting requirements. But it’s worth it, because to potential clients, it is a seal of approval. It’s another reason for people to put their trust in you. These are the kind of advantages you have as a Multifamily Performance Partner. They’re all beneficial and helpful to running your business.” To learn more about Malcarne Contracting, and its energy smart building practices, visit http://www.malcarne.com.