By Patrick Martin, A1DesignBuild General Manager

Reimagining what could be is on the minds of many right now, and here at A1 it’s no different. Amid the punctuations of fear, hope, anguish and uncertainty brought on by simultaneous health, economic and social crises, our worker-owned cooperative has forged ahead with the business of making a new name for itself.

At the age of 65, A-1 Builders and Adaptations Design Studio is simplifying our name. We are now A1DesignBuild. This change better reflects our integrated approach to making better homes. We kept the A1 because it is honors our legacy and defines the top-grade work we perform at the drawing board and in the field every day. This shift in brand clarity also points to our commitment to deliver well-priced, high-performance custom homes, historic renovations and remodels.

This moment of transition is further marked by A1’s growth as a worker-owned cooperative, one of two in Bellingham and only a handful in the state. It also reinforces our commitment to a healthy and equitable work environment. We believe that each person on our team deserves to share in the success of our collective work, but also the governance of our co-op.

We witnessed the full strength of our co-op as the pandemic hit home in March. Remarkably, each employee offered to voluntarily reduce wages until a plan could be executed. As co-op members, we are not trying to save “my” company, we are working to preserve our company, and everyone is participating in that effort. This translates into creativity, loyalty and fellowship in a difficult time. It makes us more resilient, and that’s what A1 is all about.

The team at A1DesignBuild is ready for this new chapter.

We have solid safety protocols in place to protect the health of homeowners and employees. We’re on solid financial footing, and we’re deep in the process of determining how best to deploy our skills and resources to build a more just and inclusive community. We are grateful to all in this community that have patronized and supported our team.

Here’s to another 65 years of great homes in this amazing town.

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