Case Studies

Fingerlakes Construction Company

Posting up at the top and taking it to the next level

Over the course of 45 years, Fingerlakes Construction Company (FLC) has steadily risen to the top of the post-frame building market. The New York-based company is now the No. 1 builder of its kind in the state. FLC manufactures complete building packages and then turns around and erects the final product, as well, from residential garages to commercial office complexes, municipal, equestrian, agricultural, dairy facilities and more.

“Not only do we construct buildings, but we also supply our own materials, including, trusses, columns and we roll form our own steel,” says Tom Farina, sales and marketing manager of FLC. “It gives FLC the opportunity to control the whole process and in turn control the quality of the building. This has helped us to thrive in a down economy and allowed us to employ more than 120 people.”

The perfect fit

Founded by the Brisky family in 1969, FLC is a longstanding name, but big changes took place for the company beginning in April 2013. After four decades of ownership, the Brisky family sold FLC to Iowa-based Energy Panel Structures (EPS), a manufacturer of energy-saving, pre-engineered building systems and structurally insulated panels (SIP), resembling interlocking Lego blocks. SIP panels fit together to form walls and structures while delivering greater energy savings and a ROI within two to four years.

Sometimes change breeds challenges, but this well-suited pairing made sense for both companies. EPS was established in 1981 as a subsidiary of MacArthur Company. The employee-owned company serves the upper U.S. from Montana to New England with a local network of more than 350 independent authorized dealers.

EPS had been performing SIP construction in Iowa and wanted to expand into the Northeast. “They had builders here that wanted their product, but all of the freight charges made it difficult to be competitive,” explains Farina. “Purchasing FLC and building a SIP plant in New York will change that.”

Through the transition, FLC’s corporate headquarters will remain in Clyde, New York, along with a state-of-the-art SIP plant to support the production of EPS products. FLC will also maintain operations out of the company’s Batavia, Homer and Albany locations.

“Both companies have a history of success in the building industry,” adds Bob Brisky, former owner of FLC. “Our company fits perfectly with the existing EPS product lines. EPS is an employee-owned company with more than 30 years of experience in designing and manufacturing pre-engineered buildings. Our employees will become part of the employee ownership plan and the purchase will allow us to expand and grow with additional product lines.”

Building on 45 years

Since joining EPS, FLC has hired an additional 22 employees and the company is building on 45 years of experience. Farina says the company’s trusted team is its biggest asset. “We’ve had people who have worked here for 30 to 35 years,” he says. “In order to make it through challenging times, you have to have some consistency.”

In all of its years as a trusted supplier-builder, FLC has worked across the board. “We’ve done all types of construction over the years,” says Farina. From wineries to climate-controlled storage buildings to residential homes, barns, garages, fire departments and a slew of commercial buildings, FLC can post-frame deliver nearly any type of building. In fact, the company has won 19 Building of the Year awards from the National Frame Building Association.

“One of the most interesting jobs we’ve done is for Cornell University,” shares Farina. “We supplied and built the main structures for Cornell’s Dairy Teaching Barn, an award-winning facility. The program is completely self-sustained, because the students and staff run a fully operational dairy farm to fund the program.”

In recent years FLC has also actively built for local fruit farms, vineyards, such as Hector Wine Company, Boston Fire Company and a range of commercial applications. “Partnering with EPS will bring us to the next level, though,” compares Farina. “With SIPs you have plywood or OSB on each side and 6 to 10 inches of foam in the middle; they’re much more energy efficient and airtight. It’s truly the future of building.”

While FLC has always had a strong, tenured workforce and diversity to carry it through lean times, the company’s affiliation with EPS will offer even more security and strength. As the company settles in to its new identity supported by Energy Panel Structures, Fingerlakes Construction Company is furthering a top-of-the-line reputation in the post-frame building market.

Published on: April 7, 2015

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