Four core values drive McDonald: Integrity/Trustworthiness, Sustainability, Safety, and Quality. The firm prides itself on being trustworthy and its ability to partner with developers, architects, subcontractors, owners, and owners’ reps. It embraces the industry’s shift toward sustainability as the norm and has substantial experience with LEED certified projects. The firm places safety above all else and has made several investments to elevate this key aspect of its business. These have included hiring a Safety Officer, conducting weekly safety audits, and implementing a “Safety First” campaign to managing safety at the forefront of everyone’s minds. Lastly, McDonald believes its customers deserve the best quality and delivers it along with quality control.
Laura Clevenger, the firm’s Vice President of Marketing and Administration, emphasized how rewarding it is to work at McDonald Building Co. “A lot of our clients are committed to expanding the supply of affordable housing. We are proud to be their partner in creating quality housing for the communities they serve. It is very emotional and satisfying to attend the groundbreaking then later the ribbon cutting where we meet the residents who benefit from our work.” At the onset of the pandemic in 2020, construction on Project Home’s McGuire Residences in Kensington ground to a halt with just one month away from completion. Fortunately, McDonald secured a waiver from the city, completed the project, and enabled another group of people to enjoy a decent place to live.
McDonald became involved with the Collaborative in 2013 through Brad Springer, Vice President of Preconstruction. He has participated in project review meetings and has volunteered as an estimator on several projects including the 8th & Berks Charrette in 2013/2014 and the Frankford CDC Streetscape Improvement project in 2016.
His favorite experience was the streetscape project which was phase 2 of the overall Destination Frankford initiative. “The project team was great, and everyone was able to contribute their expertise.” He enjoyed the Frankford CDC staff and engaging with neighborhood residents. “Plus, to top that off, the volunteer team and client was presented with the Collaborative’s 2017 Community Design Award at the AIA Philadelphia Chapter’s annual awards event.”
McDonald Building Co. became involved with the Collaborative just a few years after establishing the business. Laura credits its engagement as a volunteer and donor with helping them create networks and relationships with design and team professionals. This has contributed to the company’s growth.
As Laura views it, being a Corporate Champion is one way McDonald is a good steward giving back to communities throughout Philadelphia where it has built so many projects. She encourages others to look beyond the day-to-day aspects of their businesses and get involved with community-engaged design. They will derive great satisfaction from helping to improve the overall quality life in our region for economically stressed communities while also expand their professional network.