40 Under 40 The Class of 2014

Sean Jeffords

Owner, Beyond Green Construction, age 39

Sean-Jeffords-01They’re called ‘deep energy retrofits.’

That’s the name that’s been assigned to projects that bring 18th-, 19th-, and 20th-century buildings into the 21st century, at least when it comes to energy efficiency and ‘green’ practices. And that adjective ‘deep’ means that these endeavors go much further than conventional energy retrofits, and they achieve far greater energy savings.

Such retrofits have become a growing component of the portfolio for Easthampton-based Beyond Green Construction, a venture that founder and owner Sean Jeffords, the highest scorer in this year’s 40 Under Forty competition, has positioned for solid growth as demand continues to soar for reduced greenhouse-gas emissions and more clean-energy production for both residential and commercial buildings.

“I have a passion for wanting to be able to give homeowners options in the new landscape we live in, where we’re trying to reduce energy consumption,” said Jeffords, who has long had a fascination with historic-building restoration, and thus opted to focus his company’s energies on the huge inventory of older buildings rather than new construction.

“There’s a huge opportunity when it comes to the existing infrastructure,” he told BusinessWest. “We’ve got a lot of old Colonials around here, and people are spending tons of money shivering with multiple sweaters on. They don’t know what they can do, and many times there are inherent mold problems at the same time. We can give them a healthier, more efficient home.”

Jeffords’ growing reputation has earned him some airtime on the Discovery Channel’s Renovation Nation, among many other media outlets, and he’s taken home several awards, including the Green Giant Award from the local chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council. But he said his greatest reward is helping home and business owners find solutions to their energy and air-quality programs and become much more green and energy-efficient in the process.

And while such work is his business, it is also his passion, and he is eager to share his knowledge within the community. He partnered with Greenfield Community College in 2008, for example, to spearhead the development of the Western Mass. Green Consortium, an organization focused on connecting tradespeople, homeowners, business owners, and municipalities to new building-science information and networking opportunities.

Jeffords’ most recent voluntary focus is developing a trades alliance called ProjectRetroFIT, an envisioned partner to the NorthEast Sustainable Energy Assoc., advocating for high-performing buildings, while acting as a platform and resource association for tradespeople.

— George O’Brien