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BEN KELLEY, Principal

I build homes that improve your life.  Well built, thought through from from the inside out.  That is, thought through starting with you.  Our homes are resilient to keep you safe in a storm and power outage.  Our homes are durable so you can spend time enjoying your life with less time spent on home maintenance.  Our homes are healthy so that your better health is supported.

I'm a second generation builder and president of Building Shelter, Inc.  I combine craft with building science for a home that will last generations.  I'm a BPI Building Analyst, the first Certified Passive House Builder in Massachusetts, Certified Passive House Consultant, Home Energy Rater (HERS) trained and NAHB Certified Green Professional.   Bringing Building Science to your home will make your home more resilient, can reduce the cost of maintaining and operating your home, can make your home safer,  more comfortable and healthier to live in.  It's all about you.


What You Get

Experienced building team, Responsive, Reliable, Communicative, Accountable, Value Management. I'm committed to my customers,  I stand behind my work.  My Primary Interest is your satisfaction and building you a beautiful home that is cost conscious and well made. My client Frank B., said his home looked as good as the day we built it.  That was over 10 years ago.  Visit  customer testimonials.

Better Home, Better Life

BSI is a High Performance home building company on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.  A "High Performance" home  is durable, safe, healthy, efficient and beautiful.  Today’s homes require a knowledgeable and experienced team of professionals to get it right.    Our knowledge and experience make it possible for us to deliver you the beauty, comfort, safety and performance you expect for your home - as one of our client’s said, “they exceeded our expectations.”  

Rethink.  Build.  Renew. 

If you have a home that needs improvement or if you need to start fresh, we can help.  We'll navigate the building process with you, bring an experienced design team to your project and an experienced, service oriented build team to create or recreate your dream home.  

My Promise

Building or remodeling a new home is an investment and can be an intimidating proposition.  I am committed to your investment being protected by the employment of durable construction methods, built with a team of knowledgeable professionals and that you receive responsive service after the completion of your project.  



My name is Ben Kelley and I created Building Shelter Inc.  I come from a long line of tradesmen and successful business owners. I began construction with my father in Washington State and during some summers I worked at my grandfather’s heavy equipment shop in California. I arrived on Martha’s Vineyard in 1996 with $186 dollars, no connections and no idea what Martha's Vineyard was.  Fresh off the boat, I immediately fell in love with this place.  I resumed carpentry to make some money so I could continue my travels but what I discovered was the adventure I live today- building healthy homes that make my clients feel good.   I have a deep commitment to craftsmanship, durable details, beautiful homes and to the success of our clients' projects, large or small.  We are not your typical building company.


MISSION & Commitment

To improve our client's lives by designing and building beautiful, durable, safe, healthy homes.   To provide long term support for our clients and the projects we make for them.  To create spaces from yoga studios to new homes that inspire and nurture our clients, their family and friends.


Building homes that inspire and last

It's not what you see that generally surprises us, it's what we didn't expect.  Same with homes, it's what you don't see that can bite us.  You can look at the finishes, the new paint, the new siding and granite countertops and think you just got the best thing money can buy.  Maybe. What's behind all that stuff?  How was it assembled?

As in any field or career things change rapidly.  The same with building.  Building Science is the study of why buildings succeed or fail.  Succeed doesn’t mean they stay up and keep the rain off of your head, that is a low threshold.  It means they function well.  What causes drafts? what causes condensation on windows? Can I simplify a home’s expensive mechanical systems?  What materials should I use that will not encapsulate me in a toxic environment.  What is a durable details? Practically anyone can get a construction supervisor’s license and call himself or herself a builder with little or no experience.  And contractors who have been building for 30 years, without understanding building science, can have a long track record of standing houses that are built poorly.  We follow the science so that you can live more comfortably, with more health and with less anxiety.

If your health is important to you we can work with you to build a home that can support your health, not worsen it.  If you exercise, eat well, pay attention to how you live in the world and what you put on and in you then why return to a home that might not be taking care of you?  If you live with drafts, cold spots, cold feet and a hot head, toxic chemical smells, we can build you a home that has lasting comfort and health.  Do you have unreasonable heating bills or a mechanical system that operates all the time?  We can build you a home that reduces the cost to own and operate it.  We will work with you to design and build you a home that is in your budget, comfortable, durable and beautiful.  We can do a little for you or we can do a lot based on your plan and goals.  Our homes will improve your life.