Video | Creating a World Class Facility | HGA Architects & Engineers

What does it mean to create a World Class Facility? The Wolf Ridge ELC Living Building Challenge required our design and engineering partners at HGA to overcome many obstacles on the path to full LBC certification. In this video Patrick Thibaudeau, CCS, LEED FELLOW, ILFI and Vice President of Sustainability at HGA Architects and Engineers discusses the renovation of the MAC Lodge. Sustainability is at the core of HGA as a company. For years they have had a strong focus on LEED certified projects. Patrick discusses the difference between LEED and LBC certification and what it takes to succeed in a Living Building Challenge. In Patrick's own words, "It is called a challenge because it's not easy". Watch the video and learn more! Donate to Wolf Ridge Today! Tweet!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src=p+'://';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, 'script', 'twitter-wjs'); Visit Our Social Channels More Stories About The Wolf Ridge Living Building Challenge Video | Vendor Spotlight: Uponor May 4, 2018 By WolfRidgeELC In Featured Partners, Featured Products, Vendor Spotlight No CommentsFounded in 1971, Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center in Finland, Minn. was the first environmental learning center nationally accredited as a K-12 school. More than 15,000 people all over the region stay at the facility for several days to immerse themsel...Read More Minnesota Department of Commerce’s Clean Energy Community Award April 7, 2018 By WolfRidgeELC In Awards No CommentsMore and more communities, organizations, and individuals are trying to figure out how they can get energy efficiency and renewable energy projects done. Wolf Ridge's local community of Finland, which is officially called the "Town of Crystal Bay" recently won...Read [...]

Lloyd’s Won the Excellence in Demolition Award for the Wolf Ridge ELC MAC Lodge Project!

This article is being posted as a followup to a previous post on the Wolf Ridge ELC Demolition team at Lloyd's Construction Services. In the previous article it was mentioned that the family would be flying to Texas for the National Demolition Association meeting where they were 1 of 3 contractors nominated for the "Excellence in Demolition" award for their work on the Wolf Ridge ELC MAC Lodge. We are all very happy to report that they WON! Below is the article that will be appearing in Demolition Magazine about the project. John and Stephanie Lloyd accepting the Excellence in Demolition award Pete Smerud, the executive director of Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center, was told by three contractors that it couldn’t be done. The challenge: Revamp Wolf Ridge’s land, facilities and curriculum, while also satisfying the rigorous requirements of Living Building Challenge (LBC). To do so, every phase of the project — including demolition of the standing facilities — had to be as environmentally sustainable as possible. Each year, Wolf Ridge engages over 13,000 students, teachers and parents from more than 185 schools in the upper Midwest in environmental awareness and education. The first environmental learning center to be accredited as a K-12 school, Wolf Ridge long ago established itself as an environmental education leader. The center is currently fundraising a $9.4-million campaign to improve and update its land and facilities. With the goals of innovation and continued leadership in mind, Smerud and the board of trustees decided it was not enough to simply meet LEED certification requirements for this project; [...]

In The News! A Superior Site to Learn in the Wild

The below article first appeared in the StarTribune online March 2nd and in print March 3rd 2018. We have shared it below for all of our supporters. The article was written by: Jennifer Bjorhus Photo Credit: Aaron Lavinsky, StarTribune An Eden Prairie couple helped give students access to the Great Lake, but the North Woods center is $2.3 million short of its fundraising goal to make it happen. Buying land right on Lake Superior was always a dream for leaders of the Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center. The nonprofit north of Silver Bay specializes in hands-on learning, getting K-12 students up close to nature and dirty, whether it’s snowshoeing, taking water samples from streams or growing carrots. Lizzy Wegner, 11, a 6th grader from Watertown-Mayer, beat her classmates in a snowshoe race Tuesday morning at the Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center. Wolf Ridge naturalist and snowshoe instructor Sam Anderson used the race as an opportunity to see if his students’ show shoes were properly fastened. The Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center was looking to expand and eyeing a gorgeous plot of land on Lake Superior the DNR was selling. An Edina couple outbid them and then turned around gave the wolf center a long-term lease. The new land is 5 miles from the main campus. We photograph a typical day at the learning center as students from around the state visit for outdoor learning activities on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018 in Finland, Minn. - Photo By Aaron Lavinsky, StarTribune For decades, children have climbed Marshall Mountain on the organization’s 2,000 acre campus in [...]

Soaking Up Solar

This week we fired up the new solar panels for the first time. Under the clear February sun, electrons jumped right into action, creating almost 40 kW of electricity for the new Margaret A. Cargill Lodge. This is a big step toward our goal to make the MAC Lodge net-positive for energy, and towards meeting the Living Building Challenge requirement that all electricity in the dorm be made from renewable energy. Flipping a switch to turn on the solar was a simple move; behind that action is a trail of decisions and lots of planning. Each new solar installation presents unique challenges to consider. How much power is needed? Where will the panels be located so they can gather the most energy? What path will the created electricity follow as it travels from the panels to, for example, the light in the dining room? What system design and components are most efficient? Which will have the smallest impact on ecosystems? Here in northern Minnesota, studies show that reliable renewable power systems incorporate a variety of strategies. The best plans begin by examining ways to reduce the demand for electricity. A smaller system will cost less right off the bat. In the case of MAC Lodge, architects incorporated daylighting through window locations with the strategic placement of solar light tubes to bring sunlight into the interior hallways and larger group spaces. When purchasing appliances like washers, driers, and refrigerators, we chose those with the best energy ratings. Next, we made the decision to enlist the help of every student living in [...]