Coffee, Photography, and L.B.C.

Posted By shannonwalz
December 13, 2016

I recently had a great conversation with Curtis Martinson, our on-site construction foreman. He loves waking up in the woods with a fresh cup of coffee, photography, and he can wax poetic about the promise of new technologies in building design and construction. While most of our updates are about things like boards, rafters and concrete, today we’ll do something a little different. Meet Curtis and hear what inspires his work on Wolf Ridge’s Living Building Challenge projects.


You could have worked on any project for Gardner. What inspired you to choose the Wolf Ridge construction?

I have a true passion for the outdoors and being in it. I have spent all my career in the Twin Cities working in the business district downtown. I was looking for a new challenge. One that was out of my comfort zone. One that had a different backdrop also. It is beautiful up here.


You mentioned ‘forward thinking motivation’ when we talked several weeks ago. Can you explain more about what you mean by that?

This is in regards to working with the trade partners – to looking ahead to the new trends in the construction industry. We are always trying to build things more efficiently and environmentally friendly. The LBC (Living Building Challenge) process is going to be the new standard in construction someday. I want to help all of our team member succeed in being a part of that.


Have there been any pleasant surprises from working on this LBC project?

A lot of the trade partners are onboard with the philosophy of this process but they need someone to teach them specifics. We have had a lot of positive feedback from the players on getting involved in LBC protocols.


What do you see as the biggest challenges for LBC in general in meeting its goals for the future of building?

So far the biggest challenges have been with achieving the materials petal. A lot of manufacturers have not heard of the this yet and getting documentation from them is a struggle. 


If you were to build your own home today, would you do an LBC building? Why or Why not?

I think I would try to do the right thing and pick products that are friendly to ourselves and the environment on my own scale.


– photo by Curtis Martinson

Do you see Gardner bidding on future Living Building Challenge projects? Why or why not?

Definitely! We want to be the partner that brings new ideas into the industry. We want to be on the leading edge of promoting something this unique to the way things are currently perceived in the construction industry.


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