Richard Bloem - Entrepreneur
The founder, owner and Project Manager of the design and construction firm True North Homes, Richard Bloem designs and builds homes and commercial projects that are energy efficient and environmentally responsible. When he undertakes a new project, he thinks in terms of its performance: Rather than simply building a collection of ceilings and walls, Bloem considers a series of systems that interact dynamically with the occupants as they pursue their various objectives.
Prior to founding his firm, Richard Bloem worked in the construction materials industry in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and he has maintained the excellent relationships he built during those years. These connections enable him to exercise tight control over both the building process and its outcome. While True North Homes, LLC, focuses on residential construction, its sister company, Endeavor Building System, LLC, concentrates on commercial projects.
Demonstrating a deep-seated commitment to environmental responsibility in all his projects, Richard Bloem delivers results using creativity and state-of-the-art materials. One project he took on would have required almost $250,000 of reinforced concrete pylons to keep from sinking into the soft soil beneath it. Instead, Bloem used environmentally friendly GeoFoam to form a “floating” foundation, saving the customer a significant amount of money. In addition, the entire construction process generated only six bags of scrap, primarily because the house was constructed largely of structural insulated panels (SIPs), which create a tight building envelope with improved insulation and comfort.
In another house Richard Bloem built in the same town, the average temperature falls below 40 degrees Fahrenheit for five months out of the year; the home’s highest monthly heating bill, however, was only $54.
Despite the poor economy, Bloem’s companies continued their profitable operations throughout the recession, with True North and Endeavor completing over $11 million annually in new sales since 2006.
A Certified Michigan Green Builder, he belongs to the Green Building Council of Michigan and the Home Builders Association of Greater Grand Rapids. In his time away from work, he actively supports the local building projects of Habitat for Humanity International.