Learning center

Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center Achieves Highest Environmental Certification in the World


Posted 10-27-21

Proposed by HGA

Courtesy of Wolf Ridge and HGA, Photo Credit Chad Holder

Oct. 27, 2021 / CSRwire / – The Margaret A. Cargill (MAC) Lodge at Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center, an internationally recognized leader in environmental education, is the world’s first renovation project to receive Living Building Challenge Certification (LBC) by the International Living Future Institute.

Wolf Ridge Margaret A. Cargill Lodge designed by HGA
Courtesy of Wolf Ridge and HGA, Photo Credit Chad Holder

The International Living Future Institute (ILFI) defines living buildings as:

  • Regenerative buildings that connect occupants with light, air, food, nature and community.
  • Autonomous and stay within the limits of their site’s resources.
  • Create a positive impact on the human and natural systems that interact with them.

The national interdisciplinary design company HGA was asked to redesign and renovate the lodge to meet the highest international standards for sustainability. To achieve this exacting standard, the 22,000 square foot Wolf Ridge MAC Lodge has proven its ability to achieve Net Positive Energy and Net Positive Water over a 12 month period, generating more energy than it consumes. . The Lodge is the 30th Living Building in the world to receive this certification, and the 1st in the Upper Midwest region (MN, WI, ND, SD). It is located in the coldest design climate yet to achieve LBC certification.

Wolf Ridge Margaret A. Cargill Lodge designed by HGA
Courtesy of Wolf Ridge and HGA, Photo Credit Chad Holder

“Wolf Ridge is a place where people experience the natural systems we all depend on, in a way that creates an understanding of what we need to do to responsibly interact with our environment and protect natural resources for future generations.” said Peter Smerud, Wolf Executive Director of Ridge. He continued: “All the ethics of our organization are at work in the building of the MAC pavilion, as it does not disturb the nature in which it is located, but rather becomes another educational tool to help visitors understand their effect on the planet and, ultimately, how to become better stewards of the earth.

Wolf Ridge Margaret A. Cargill Lodge designed by HGA
Courtesy of Wolf Ridge and HGA, Photo Credit Chad Holder

It took a whole community of planners, entrepreneurs and donors to make this project happen. The 27 contractors involved received training on AML standards, which required all materials to be sourced locally. The AML standards also prohibit the use of Red List chemicals known to have an impact on human and environmental health.

Therefore:

  • No metal went to the landfill. 100% of all metals have been reused or recycled.
  • Only 4 trees were removed from the construction site, giving contractors space for 8 dumpsters to recycle anything that was used or removed for the renovation. Eight new trees adapted to the climate were planted as replacements.
  • Wood harvested by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) was sourced from the region of Finland, Minnesota, by Louisiana Pacific (LP) and processed at its plant in Two Harbors, Minnesota.
  • The products have been adapted to higher material health standards. Benjamin Moore has modified a line of commercial interior paints to meet LBC compliance for use in the MAC Lodge.
Wolf Ridge Margaret A. Cargill Lodge designed by HGA
Courtesy of Wolf Ridge and HGA, Photo Credit Chad Holder

“Sometimes the greenest building is the one that already exists,” said Lindsay Baker, CEO of the International Living Future Institute. “Wolf Ridge proves that a renovation project can have as much of an overall impact as a new construction.

The HGA design addresses all of these 20 imperatives while also focusing on the human experience in interior spaces and celebrating the basic principle of Wolf Ridge: connecting with nature to care for nature. Interior design promotes the six characteristics of biophilic design: environmental characteristics, place-based relationships, light and space, natural patterns and processes, natural forms and forms, and evolved human-nature relationships.

Wolf Ridge Margaret A. Cargill Lodge designed by HGA
Courtesy of Wolf Ridge and HGA, Photo Credit Chad Holder

Because LBC projects are to contribute to the expansion of a regional economy rooted in sustainable practices, products and services, MAC Lodge has invested approximately $ 8.4 million in the regional economy over the course of seven years. planning and construction. Today, it serves as an example to thousands of schoolchildren every year of what the sustainable construction of the future looks like today.

“The live learning design concept for the MAC Lodge engages occupants as learners and teaches them how to live a sustainable lifestyle. For example, students and visitors can see their contributions to net positive energy and water, ”said Ariane Laxo, Director of Sustainability at HGA. She continued, “Display screens in the dorms and lobby show each group’s impact on the building’s water and energy use – a rare instant visual representation that prompts everyone to change their behavior. to have a lower impact on the environment ”.

Wolf Ridge Margaret A. Cargill Lodge designed by HGA
Courtesy of Wolf Ridge and HGA, Photo Credit Chad Holder

Read the Full Living Building Challenge case study here.

Wolf Ridge would like to thank Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies for her generous support. This project is part of the Wolf Ridge Making Waves fundraising campaign. Visit www.wolf-ridge.org/livingbuilding for more information.

Wolf Ridge Margaret A. Cargill Lodge designed by HGA
Courtesy of Wolf Ridge and HGA, Photo Credit Chad Holder

Project overview:

  • Project: Margaret A. Cargill Hall
  • Site: Finland, MN
  • Cut: 22,000 square feet
  • Beds: 188
  • Rooms: 5 communal meeting spaces; 25 guest rooms
  • Architect: HGA
  • Builder: Gardner Builders
Wolf Ridge Margaret A. Cargill Lodge designed by HGA
Courtesy of Wolf Ridge and HGA, Photo Credit Chad Holder

About Wolf Ridge

The Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center is the nation’s largest accredited residential environmental learning center. Founded in 1971, Wolf Ridge was the nation’s first environmental learning center to be accredited as a K-12 school and is recognized nationally and internationally as a leader in environmental education. Today, it welcomes more than 15,000 visitors per year to its 2,000-acre campus for year-round programming that includes summer camps, family programs, nature trips, educational programs. higher and more. Visit The wolf’s crest.

About HGA

HGA is a national, interdisciplinary design company committed to making a positive and lasting impact for our customers and communities through holistic, research-based solutions. We believe that good design requires a sense of curiosity, to have an in-depth knowledge of our clients, their contexts and the human condition. We are a collective of more than 800 architects, engineers, interior designers, urban planners, researchers and strategists. Our practice spans multiple markets, including business, culture, education, local and federal government, healthcare, and science and technology.

Visit HGA.com or follow LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

About the International Living Future Institute

The International Living Future Institute is a global non-profit organization that inspires the greenest buildings for a healthy world. The mission of the Institute is to advance socially just, culturally rich and ecologically restorative communities. ILFI manages the Living Building Challenge, the world’s most ambitious, advanced and holistic performance standard for green, resilient and healthy buildings. It is also a hub for many other visionary programs that support the transformation towards – and provide a compelling vision for – a living future accessible to all. Learn more about www.living-future.org.

Wolf Ridge Margaret A. Cargill Lodge designed by HGA
Courtesy of Wolf Ridge and HGA, Photo Credit Chad Holder

Media contacts:

Michelle nelsen
HGA, Director of Public Relations
[email protected]

Jolene brink
Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center, Director of Marketing and Communications
[email protected]

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HGA

HGA

HGA is a national, interdisciplinary design company committed to making a positive and lasting impact for our customers and communities through holistic, research-based solutions. We believe that good design requires a sense of curiosity, to have an in-depth knowledge of our clients, their contexts and the human condition. We are a collective of more than 800 architects, engineers, interior designers, urban planners, researchers and strategists. Our practice spans multiple markets, including business, culture, education, local and federal government, healthcare, and science and technology.

Visit HGA.com or follow LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

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