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A Season for Learning

Posted by Ron Jones

Nov 4, 2015 2:27:15 PM

THE DAZZLING COLORS of autumn have already come and gone up in the high country, and although we have been blessed with gorgeous fall weather at Mariposa Meadows thus far, we can see the new snow that is already beginning to stick on the north-facing slopes of the high peaks.


Although we have been blessed with gorgeous fall weather at Mariposa Meadows thus far, we can see the new snow that is already beginning to stick on the north-facing slopes of the high peaks.

Learn more about our latest VISION House project here.

While we are not enduring last year’s pressures of placing and finishing concrete this time around, we seem to have just as much urgency in making as much progress as possible—especially in all aspects of the building envelopes and roofs—before the season closes in on us once again, and we’re relegated to the plowed roads and workshop activities that will have to keep us occupied until next spring.

Every day is precious now, as the crew hustles to secure the buildings and make certain that they are ready for the long weeks of silent, numbing cold that are lurking just around the corner. Material deliveries seem more crucial than they did a few weeks ago, when the warmth of the sun and the gold of the aspens tricked us into thinking we had lots of time to wrap everything up.

Additionally, it seems that the builders of all the projects in the area are hurrying to stay ahead of the changing season and finish what they’re working on. Our trade contractors are being tugged in several directions at once, making scheduling a bit more difficult and communication even more important than usual. Some aspects of building are universal, I suppose.

Meanwhile, my inbox is constantly inundated with newsletters full of regurgitated information and stale blogs featuring overworked topics and questionable advice on “how to attract millennial homebuyers,” “markets to watch in 2016” and endless lists of the “best and worst” of virtually everything. Is this really valuable information? Is this what builders are truly interested in? Maybe so, but I have my doubts.

Some builders regard winter as the time to settle into a holding pattern, hunkering down until the season has passed and given way to the promise of spring once again. But I’d like to suggest that it actually represents a huge opportunity in disguise, one that allows us not only to catch our breath, but also to take a deeper dive into learning more about what we do and how best to do it. This is the time when we can take a serious look at building science, energy performance, resource management, new technologies, products and systems and better quality control.

There is a whole universe of knowledge just waiting to be explored, if we are willing to make the effort. And while I know that I will often find myself daydreaming of the time when we can return to our project in the high country, I will also do my best to learn as much as I can between now and then, so that the time we spend there will be as special as it should be.

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