The HBRACC honors excellence in Cape Cod's building and remodeling industries.
What began in 1950 as the Cape Cod Builders Association, then just a small band of builders on Cape Cod, has blossomed into one of the most instrumental organizations for the growth and preservation of the entire community and is now known as HBRACC (Home Builders and Remodelers Association of Cape Cod). The creation of the very successful 2012 HBRACC BRICC (Building and Remodeling Industry on Cape Cod) Awards, attended by more than 150 people on September 20th at Mashpee’s Willowbend Country Club, is just the latest HBRACC accomplishment.
HBRACC’s overall mission is three pronged. Advocacy on the state, local, and federal level is crucial for the highly regulated building industry. These regulations can consume a lot of time for the builder and money for the consumer. For HBRACC, keeping builders abreast of regulations helps the whole community succeed.
Maintaining a builder’s license requires continuous education to keep up with this ever-changing industry. HBRACC offers critical training courses so builders can meet their required 12 hours of continuing education credits every two years.
The final part of HBRACC’s mission is itself multifaceted. A focus on networking and marketing to assist business growth, community, and philanthropic efforts provides cohesion and builds networking relationships among the members of the building community. This community includes, but is not restricted to, custom builders, remodelers, plumbers, electricians, suppliers, architects, designers, real estate agents, and financial institutions.
HBRACC has seen a tremendous growth of 30 percent in membership over the last year alone and is working to see its numbers continue to rise. “The more members we have in our association, the stronger and more effective our voice is. This means not only will people community-wide be aware of us, but the officials who pass the laws and write the regulations that affect the homeowner will be as well,” says HBRACC Executive Officer Christine Duren.
“Most of our members live, work, and play here—they experience and appreciate what makes Cape Cod great,” says Duren. “We also know the Cape has to grow–but we have to be smart about that growth–to maintain our uniqueness.” Duren notes that having an organization whose members are comprised predominately of Cape Codders, many of whom are involved with local government, means they have an understanding of what works on a local level.
As part of the organization’s efforts to build awareness and advocate for HBRACC members, the organization created the BRICC Awards in 2012 to recognize the excellence of its members.
The idea to celebrate local professionals’ achievements had been considered at HBRACC since the 1980s. The idea resurfaced during a board meeting in 2011. Things began moving quickly and through the efforts of a dedicated committee who met monthly, the BRICC Awards held its inaugural event on September 20th. (Cape Cod Life Publications was the platinum sponsor for the event. See opposite for a full list of 2012 BRICC Award sponsors.)
Modeled after the Builder’s Association of Greater Boston’s PRISM Awards, the BRICC awards assembled a list of appropriate award categories for our area. The HBRACC made the BRICC Awards distinguishable from similar ceremonies by making the submission process entirely digital.
Entrants had a six-month window to submit entries to a panel of nonpartisan judges from New England, who then ranked submissions on a scale from one to 10. The four judges’ marks were then tallied and averaged. The two entries receiving the highest score in each category were awarded gold and silver respectively, often with razor-thin margins separating the winners.
The turnout for the event was just what Duren and the BRICC Awards Committee (see committee, opposite) were hoping for. “We were getting reservations up until 4 p.m. that day,” says Duren. “We rolled out the red carpet and people thoroughly enjoyed the evening.” Willowbend’s staff even had trouble seating the 150 attendees for dinner because they were all enjoying the camaraderie and excitement of the new event.
A feeling of suspense hung in the air as the award ceremony began, since none of the entrants knew who won ahead of time. Some people had multiple entries in various categories, which added to the mystery. When the winners’ names were called, the competitors’ surprise and happiness was clear. “You can tell from the pictures. They’re just beaming from ear to ear,” says Duren.
Two BRICC awards were handed out that enhanced the competitive categories—the 2012 Community Non-Profit Partner Award and the 2012 Community Impact Award. CHAMP Homes, an organization in Hyannis that provides a safe environment for homeless youths and adults received the nonprofit award. Brian Dacey of Centerville’s Bayside Builders won community impact honors for exemplifying HBRACC’s mission to work and advocate within the community, providing housing and shelter for all.
Plans are already in the works for the next BRICC Awards ceremony, which is anticipated to be held in 2014. The two-year gap is in place to accommodate the building community’s challenge of getting a project completed within a year due to the extensive permitting process.
Duren and her BRICC committee are proud of the 2012 BRICC Awards, and anticipate the next BRICC Awards will be even bigger and better. “We really should pat ourselves on the back for the great work that our builders and contractors and tradesmen do on Cape Cod—as often as possible,” says Duren.
- Posted in Architecture