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 [...]

Vendor Spotlight: Lloyd’s Construction Services

Taking a Ship Out of the Bottle When most people hear the word “demolition”, images of sledgehammers and front loaders are usually what come to mind. The abundance and popularity of home renovation television shows has made this phase of remodeling appear almost fun and fairly straightforward. However, in the case of a Living Building Challenge (LBC) where recycling and reusing existing materials is as important as the building materials selected, demolition quickly becomes thoughtful, meticulous deconstruction. In the case of Lloyd’s Construction Services, a third generation Minnesota company, this challenge is exactly what they had been preparing for over their 35-year history. John Lloyd founded the business with his father when he was only 17 years old and with nothing but $500 in savings and a 1952 GMC truck. Lloyd has described the demolition side of his business as “taking a ship out of the bottle”. Much of their business has always focused on salvage, reuse and recycling, but never have these words been more applicable than during the careful deconstruction of the old West Dorm for the renovation into the new Margaret A. Cargill (MAC) Lodge at Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center. An ambitious 17 year old and his 52 GMC truck Before approaching Lloyd’s Construction Services, Pete Smerud (executive director of Wolf Ridge ELC) had already been told by three contractors that the LBC requirements of his renovation plans couldn’t be met. In a Living Building Challenge when demolition and renovation of an existing structure is a part of the project, the burden placed on the demolition [...]


I’ve often thought of the West Dorm as a “home away from home.” School kids move in on Mondays ready to make the place their own. They haul their sleeping bags and clothes off the bus and up into their rooms, thrilled to be on this grand adventure north. Summer campers gather around the fireplace to play board games as they wait for darkness to settle in and stars to come out. In fall’s morning glow, eagles and ravens soar by the great room windows. A parent-chaperone relaxes on the window seat reading a novel during a mid-winter afternoon break. The West Dorm is a place with heart – the kind of place memories are built. Even so, I and others up here are excited to see the old interior walls coming down, making space for the new. Betsey imagines the cozy sitting areas that will allow smaller schools to have private gathering places. Teachers look forward to the ease of grouping students into new rooms with in-room bathrooms and showers, similar to the current East Dorm rooms. The new spaces will be perfect for making lifelong friendships during Summer Family Camp. And through it all, that iconic fireplace will still be there. As you look at these photos, I invite you  to imagine this coming winter with me: Kids will still get off the bus in a rush to see their home away from home. The fireplace will still be a central gathering spot. The sun will pour in through the windows on an expanded great room…. There will [...]