by Amanda Webb-Nichols, Living Building Project Manager

The materials have all been vetted, construction is complete, and we’re on our way to tracking the home’s performance. The path to this point was far from “normal” and some may have doubted that it would even happen. It’s reality now for Tom and Marti as they have been living at Beacon Springs for one month, and our wonderful team gathered recently to celebrate the incredible milestone. When Marti suggested that I might write a post for the project website, my mind immediately went to telling my story as part of a wonderful team that helped bring their dream to a reality.

The materials vetting process was a long road and stressful at times, but that task is such a small piece of their incredible puzzle. As we gathered to celebrate, it occurred to me that although Tom and Marti have only occupied their home for a minute fragment of time that the home is intended to live, it already holds so many incredible stories. From the first day that Bob joined them to look at the property, to busting out concrete forms while installing the massive Trombe walls, to the reclaimed Douglas fir siding that was lovingly restored to grace their ceiling, to a felled sycamore tree from a neighbor’s property that holds the place they wash their hands, to the cobbled-together bluestone that sat out of situ for over a decade that is now settled into its new home. The stories that the walls, floors, ceilings, and site hold are many and perhaps one day they’ll all be written down to ensure they continue to live alongside the home that holds them.

The Living Building Challenge is more appropriately titled than I ever imagined. It epitomizes the Hunter S. Thompson quote that, “anything worth doing is worth doing right.” We’ve shared our team stories and the individual boundaries that we all had to push to ensure that we made this home happen for Tom and Marti. For most, if not all, it has been a once in a lifetime opportunity to see this project succeed and truly come to life. It’s daunting to think about going back to the beginning and doing it all over again;d my fear is that we won’t. In fact, I hope there are many more Beacon Springs to come. I hope that LBC projects become a “many in a lifetime opportunity.” These are the stories that I want to hear of more. These are the projects that are the change I want to see in the building industry. Tom and Marti are planting the change that I want to see in the world, and I am inspired to keep watering that change to see it grow.

October 2016

October 2016

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