By Ann Luongo
In 2003, Acella Construction Corporation was housed in a 200-square foot office space in Norwell, serving non-for-profits and doing some commercial work. However, as the company’s name and reputation for focusing on and meeting clients’ needs grew, so did its client base.
“After working for the big companies in the city, we saw an opportunity to provide the same level of service as the bigger companies in the non-union arena, and that has proved to be a successful business model,” said Dave Dirubbo, president of Acella. “Some of our first clients were Boston Beer Works (Samuel Adams). In the first year of business, we managed to post $2 million in revenues.”
The company continued to work its niche (non-profits and universities/schools), and much of its initial success came from working with companies who had less-than-satisfactory experiences with some of the larger construction firms.
With Acella, Dirubbo said, the company’s vision – “building relationships one project at a time” – has been their objective from the beginning. It’s a vision they stick to, even today, which contributes to the company’s success. Acella has steadily grown not only in revenue, but in the size of its team, as well.
“We started out with two employees back in 2003; by 2004 we were a company of eight,” said Dirubbo. “I am happy to report we have approximately 40 employees now, many who have been with the firm for years, and several new employees as we have consistently enjoyed slow and steady growth through the years. We anticipate adding six to eight more employees as we head into the summer.”
In 2017, Acella expanded to its Pembroke location, furthering its strategic growth plan to serve markets and choose projects where they can make significant contributions and truly change lives, according to Dirubbo.
“We build better when we are close, connected and engaged with our clients and communities, and our new location helps our team travel more easily to clients and projects located in Boston, on the South Shore and on Cape Cod,” he said. “The 6,000-square-foot space was transformed through extensive renovations to the original building, and we are constantly building on our initial goal of creating a warm and welcoming space to host clients and colleagues.”
The two-floor workspace, he added, is comprised of private offices, conference space featuring custom-glass walls, and open areas that promote a casual and collaborative work style that distinguishes Acella in a highly demanding, fast-paced construction environment.
“We are a closely-knit team that values our family-business roots and thrives on collaboration. Our enduring relationships with owners, architects and subcontractors has helped build experienced project teams that work seamlessly together and has facilitated our early involvement through preconstruction and design/build services,” Dirubbo said.
The Acella team brings a wide range of experience to the table for each and every project they get. They are widely recognized for understanding and fulfilling each client’s unique vision, advocacy and leadership in academic, retail, corporate, healthcare and community projects, which range from ground-up construction, new additions, complex interior renovations and tenant build-outs.
Recent projects in academic spaces include ground-up construction, phased construction, and complex interior renovations for JacksonWalnut Park Schools, Thayer Academy, Sacred Heart High School, MIT and Northeastern University.
Acella has additionally made significant contributions to the South Shore community and Cape Cod, completing recent projects for non-profit cultural organizations like Hingham Historical Society/Hingham Heritage Museum, Hingham Congregational Church, and the South Shore YMCA, as well as South Shore developers, Jumbo Capital Management and FoxRock Properties.
Healthcare work complements Acella’s expertise working in sensitive, occupied environments. Recent wellness and healing space projects have been completed for South Shore Health System/South Shore Hospital.
“We are constantly striving to be better tomorrow than we are today,” Dirubbo said, “and that philosophy has helped us flourish over the last 15 years. Over the next 10 years, we’d like to continue our slow and steady growth while augmenting and enhancing our diverse portfolio. I don’t want to grow the company past the point where we lose the personal touch.”
Acella Construction makes a point of supporting local community efforts and serves as a sponsor for annual philanthropic events on a regular basis.
“One of my favorites is our ongoing partnership with the Wompatuck Warriors Youth Mountain Biking Group,” said Dirubbo. “I serve as a coach, and we provide a trailer to transport race-day supplies, bikes, and spare equipment for the team’s events. It’s great to see the kids get outside and enjoy, as well as progress in their skills over the course of the season.
“We also recently joined South Shore Habitat for Humanity for a rewarding day of building at their Duxbury site. Our employees came together for a day of service and participated in the organization’s team build program, where volunteers from all walks of life come together to support safe, affordable homes for economically disadvantaged families,” he said.
Employees at Acella are encouraged to serve on non-profit boards. The company also offers financial support for a number of local organizations on an ongoing basis as well, including the South Shore YMCA, Cardinal Spellman, South Shore Health System, and others.
“People should do business with us if they want a company who cares about them as a person and treat their projects as the only one, we are performing at that time, with attention to detail and quality to last a lifetime,” Dirubbo said. “We provide a very hands-on approach, with much thought and care taken to balance design aesthetics and the costs associated with the finished product. Every project has their unique challenges, but it is our goal to make every client, architect, engineer, subcontractor, vendor and especially employees happy to be part of the Acella family.”