Freedom Enterprise Inc.
- Written by: Molly Shaw
- Produced by: Sean O'Reilly
- Estimated reading time: 3 mins
Whether Freedom Enterprise Inc. (FEI) is performing general construction, construction management, fit-out work or delivering a new sporting facility, the Pennsylvania-based contractor focuses on collaboration and functional design. Since 1988, FEI has offered a wide range of full service construction and energy solutions.
After working for several years as a superintendent and foreman, Al Seiberlich, now president of FEI, decided to start something of his own. “I always enjoyed working with my hands, so I decided to start FEI from scratch,” he recalls.
Nearly a decade later, Seiberlich added subsidiary company Freedom Energy Partners (FEP) to the FEI lineup. “We founded FEP in 1998 to offer more comprehensive, in-house service,” he shares. “FEP does full HVAC service and mechanical work, along with energy conservation. FEP does everything from lighting replacements to energy updates for outdated HVAC equipment.”
The goal of both FEI and FEP is to deliver functional design for the long haul. “We look at a job in terms of design but also the end result from an operational perspective,” explains Seiberlich. “We might recommend equipment that’s 10 or 20 grand more, but it will last longer, be more efficient and offer greater pay back over the years.”
Today, FEI and FEP bring functional design to clients throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and occasionally New York. “We currently have about 43 employees,” reveals Seiberlich. “In 2008, we had about 150 but we’ve scaled back because of the market. We’re not as robust as we were four years ago but there’s definite improvement in the industry and we’re starting to rebuild.”
Despite recent setbacks, FEI continues to offer a broad range of in-house services, including construction management, general construction and carpentry, demolition, design build, maintenance and retrofits, as well as mechanical, electrical and HVAC service. “We do a great deal of repairs and maintenance,” notes Seiberlich. “Our concept is when we finish a job, we follow up with long term service, from adding a door to a whole new office or new HVAC equipment; we’re there for support.”
Wide Ranging In-house Capabilities
“We have a great deal of our own internal trades,” continues Seiberlich. “Our employees understand all aspects of design build and the ability to implement work within our own forces separates us from other contractors.”
With extensive in-house service, FEI is capable of handling nearly any residential or commercial job. “If we need to use a subcontractor, we have three to four trusted contractors for each trade,” adds Seiberlich.
From a six-monthlong residential project in New York City to the renovation of a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter dealership in Dresher, Penn., FEI is always doing something different. “We just completed a 60,000-square-foot building renovation for Universal Health Services,” reveals Seiberlich. “And we finished four commercial office buildings with full exterior façade work, building renovations and site improvements in a mostly occupied space.”
FEI offers skilled in-house carpentry services, including metal and wood framing, drywall, acoustical ceilings, finish carpentry; specialty finishes, custom mill work, and the team is even capable of historic renovations. “One of our recent flagship projects is a 115-unit apartment complex in an old silk factory warehouse,” notes Seiberlich.
FEI also oversees the demolition, modification and installation of stadium and venue seating. “Our skilled staff ensures the quality construction and installation of the entire seating package, including new foundations, I-beam construction, installation of new seating systems, press boxes and other specialty venue seating,” the company’s website reads. “FEI is an approved installation contractor for Southern Bleacher, Alto Seating and Irwin Telescopic.”
Even with a wide range of comprehensive, in-house services, FEI was not immune to the affects of the recession. “We’ve scaled back probably four times over the last four years,” admits Seiberlich. “We had no choice. If you want to remain profitable you have to make changes, but if I could go back and do things over again we wouldn’t have had to fight the recession like we did, because we’d be leaner.”
And according to Seiberlich, that is exactly what FEI is focusing on now: lean construction. “It’s certainly a collaborative effort,” he adds. “Things are back on the upswing and we already have work under contract for next year so we’re rebuilding.”
The company is rebuilding while also celebrating a milestone of 25 years in business. “We’re continuing to work on our communication and learn from the mistakes we’ve made and addressing them differently next time,” reveals Seiberlich. Freedom Enterprise Inc. is growing leaner and stronger for the years to come, building on a trusted reputation through collaboration.
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