Jeff Krueger named President of Clark Construction, LLC

Promotion announced by Clark founder Rachele Turnbull, who assumes CEO role 

Jeff Krueger of Bainbridge Island has been named President of Bainbridge-based Clark Construction, LLC. The move was announced by Rachele Turnbull, Clark founder, who has served as President and CEO and will now assume the sole role of company CEO.

Krueger joined Clark Construction in 2013 and has been serving as Vice President, a key member of Clark’s executive and leadership team. In the role of President, he will oversee all day-to-day construction operations and project teams.

“Jeff’s passion, vision and deep commitment to the company makes him a perfect fit to lead our people and projects,” Turnbull said. “We are thrilled that someone with such a deep history and knowledge of the company will serve as President. Jeff is a strong, dynamic and values-driven leader with a track record of delivering consistent, high-quality service to our clients.”

Rachele Turnbull and Jeff Krueger

Rachele Turnbull and Jeff Krueger

Krueger began his construction career as a summer laborer for Fairbank Construction Co. while in high school in the early 1980s. He continued this summer work while earning B.A. in Elementary Education and spending six years as a grade school teacher. Moving to Fairbank full time, he served for 10 years as Project Manager, Safety Officer and Manpower Manager on projects ranging from $15,000 decks to a $5 million condominium.

After spending seven years in Kenya with his family, building and managing a 130-acre dairy farm and orphan outreach center, Krueger returned to Bainbridge Island and joined Clark Construction. He and his wife have raised two daughters on the island and are deeply committed to the Bainbridge community.

“I am honored to take on this position as President and lead the Clark team into the future,” Krueger said. “Clark is committed to efficient, sustainable building technologies and techniques, and we remain passionately dedicated to putting customer service first, regardless of the size of a project.”

Rachele Turnbull’s visionary spirit and strong leadership have guided Clark Construction to success for over a decade. As CEO, she will focus on corporate development and taking the company through the next stages of growth. To better serve clients and team, she will concentrate on resource management and communication systems, conduct cost estimating and analysis, constructability and design review.

Loom House weaves classic architecture, Living Building standards

The first thing you notice is the view: a sweeping, 180-degree panorama that takes in sparkling Puget Sound, ferries gliding back and forth to the distant Seattle skyline, the snow-capped Cascades beyond.

For some buyers, this would have been the sole attraction, and the midcentury modern home atop the bluff would have been an afterthought – a rambler to be plowed under for opulent new construction.

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Todd Vogel and Karen Hust had a different vision: to not only restore the classic Northwest-style home on Bainbridge Island, but do so to the highest modern standards of energy efficiency and healthy, sustainable construction. It would become a showcase, bridging heritage architecture with the environmental challenges of the present – not just sensitive, but restorative. 

And it would be called “Loom House,” for weaving people and place into a splendid new fabric.

Architectural rendering by The Miller Hull Partnership of the Loom house

Architectural rendering by The Miller Hull Partnership of the Loom house

“If we’re going to deal with climate change, we have to deal with the housing stock that we have. We can’t just build all new homes, we have to figure out how to retrofit,” Vogel says. “Then if you ask the question, what’s getting in the way of us retrofitting, it’s that we haven’t done it enough to the right standards, so that we really understand all the different pieces. So there’s a learning outcome that we’re trying to bake into this project.”

The home by noted Northwest architect Hal Moldstad is actually two buildings, a two-story central residence tucked into the hillside and a smaller bunkhouse-style outbuilding across the broad patio.

Architectural rendering by The Miller Hull Partnership of the Loom house

Architectural rendering by The Miller Hull Partnership of the Loom house

Largely unchanged from the 1960s – a warren of small rooms, still filled with bunkbeds for summer visits by the previous owners’ fourteen grandchildren – the house provided an excellent canvas on which to sketch modern systems while preserving the distinctive aesthetics of period design.

Vogel and Hust chose Seattle’s Miller Hull Partnership and Clark Construction, LLC of Bainbridge Island. A lengthy visioning process ensued. 

The project would strive for full certification under the rigorous Living Building Challenge – a first for a residential remodel – through net-positive solar energy production, water reclamation and reuse, onsite food production, and an aggressive “Red List” of proscribed, chemical-heavy building materials.

Intentionality was the touchstone at every turn.

“It required that we not be in a rush, and spend a lot of time with the pencil,” Vogel says. “Our architects were super careful, and Clark Construction has been really careful. Everybody rebuilt the house in their heads before they ever started swinging hammers.”

Architectural rendering by The Miller Hull Partnership of the Loom house

Architectural rendering by The Miller Hull Partnership of the Loom house

Period skylights that straddled the roof’s peak were shifted to the north face, opening up the south slope for a 42-module photovoltaic array with twin-battery backup for resiliency. Interior walls were brought in minutely to add insulation and cladding, an imperceptible loss of floor space for a much tighter building envelope. The expansive, vista-facing windows were triple-paned.

A new underground cistern will capture some of the estimated 720,000 gallons of rainwater that falls on the 2/3-acre lot each year – this is the Northwest – enough to provide water self-sufficiency year-round. An aggressive septic system will process wastewater onsite while recharging the island’s precious, underlying aquifer.

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Conservation extended to the grounds, where a generation’s worth of mature trees and shrubs were retained and protected through a year of construction. A beautiful Chinese dogwood was painstakingly moved to free up space for a new carport.

Under LBC only 5 percent of construction waste could go to the landfill, so Clark crowdsourced old materials for recycling and reuse. For instance, cut concrete was shaped into pavers and sent to a landscaping project on a neighboring island.

It took time, commitment and creativity. Vogel sees the cost-benefit equation as a matter of perspective.

“Right now, it costs more to do a retrofit like this than to blade it, in strict dollar terms,” he says. “But look at the architecture and the bones of the building – there’s cedar on this building that has no knots, and there are these incredible materials embedded in it. It feels like it would be a crime to send all that to the landfill.”

Jeff Krueger, Clark Construction principal, agrees.

“Beauty matters,” he says, gesturing to the subtle elements of the classic Molstad design. “It makes an impact. Being able to see these rafter tails – they may not be functional, but they’re beautiful, and you walk up and they speak to you. It’s important to the community to be able to walk up and see that beauty.”

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Krueger says one of the most beautiful things about the project is its modest scale: Loom’s two buildings together are only around 3,000 sf., far smaller than whatever new construction might have been shoehorned onto the lot. That allowed Loom’s components and systems to meet a much higher environmental standard. 

“Part of what we’re about is getting people to build smaller, not bigger,” he says. “If you build smaller, you can afford more. The cost per square foot may be more than what you’re used to seeing, but if you have smaller spaces you can put more of your resources into them –monetary, materials, emotion. This construction takes ‘resource’ into account as a more holistic term, and that’s really needed.”

As a showcase project, Vogel wants Loom House to prove how well within reach many of these forward-thinking systems are to anyone considering a remodel. 

You may not go full Living Building Challenge, but even modest restorations can achieve environmentally positive ends. Adding an onsite cistern might reduce home water use by 80 percent. Even Loom’s “septic on steroids” isn’t particularly new technology, and has been in use elsewhere for years.

Saving a vintage home – adapting the old to the new – is itself the essence of conservation.

“There’s stuff you can’t recover,” Vogel says, “when you plow your history.”

WA State legislation facilitating multi-generational living and aging in place

At Clark we are consciously making decisions informed by the ideals of stewardship and sustainability. We encourage you to read this article Washington Just Advanced the Nation’s Best ADU Reform outlining new state legislation close to being finalized that will help facilitate multi-generational living, age in place, resource management and a host of other good things by making it easier to build ADU’s. Bigger is not always better… let's think outside the box!

There's Fungus Among Us!

Written by Anne James, Anne James Landscape Architecture

How do you accommodate the urban agriculture element of the Living Building Challenge on a shaded, forested site in the Pacific Northwest?  Think forest foraging and mushrooms!! Loom House on Bainbridge Island, WA will uphold the principles of the Living Building Challenge (LBC) v3.1 Imperative 02: Urban Agriculture to help it become the first LBC remodeled residence.  The imperative requires that a pre-determined percentage of the site’s area support “crops, livestock and other strategies that contribute to human health and/or food consumption urban agriculture”… [ READ MORE ]

Lunch & Learn: Evacuated Solar Hot Water Heaters


It was a fantastic Lunch & Learn today at the Clark offices, with Raymond Lam from Silk Road Environmental!

Specializing in innovative, cost-effective products to reduce the carbon footprint of their clients, Silk Road Environmental reviewed the theory and application of their systems, including solar hot water heaters and phase change material.

Their cutting-edge tech was used on our recently completed Noco Apartments in Columbia City, one of the first apartment buildings in Seattle to use next-generation solar technology for hot water. Dwell Development calls it “an amazingly cost-effective and eco-friendly way to generate hot water for residents.”

Learn more on their website: https://silkroadenvironmental.com

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We’re watching our wood waste

Even the most efficient construction produces a lot of wood waste. After raw lumber is shaped into a beautiful new home or remodel, board ends and random scraps are typically sent straight to the dump.

So how are we tackling this big challenge in the construction industry?

At our historic Loom House job site on Bainbridge Island, we are finding a better way – a kinder, environmentally conscious method of dealing with construction waste. At this Living Building Challenge remodel, our team is taking the time to separate out untreated waste pieces – those without coating, paint or preservative – and divert them to recyclers, who will turn these scraps into useful biomass or mulch.

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We also salvage old siding and paneling via selective demolition, removing all nails and fasteners by hand. That way, these extra materials can be used for new siding on the home.

Other fixtures left over from the remodel – cabinets, windows and doors, vanities, hand railings – have gone to Habitat for Humanity for a second life in new affordable homes.

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All told, we have sent waste and unwanted materials from the Loom House to more than a half-dozen vendors and contractors to be reused and recycled for other projects! Yes, this takes extra time and effort. But at Clark, we believe that keeping leftover wood products out of the disposal stream is just good policy — the kind of care and high standards our clients appreciate.

Noco Apartments receives 5-star Built Green certification

The Noco Apartments in Seattle’s Columbia City neighborhood have earned the prestigious 5-Star Built Green certification from the Master Builders Association of King County. Completed this past summer the project features 54 units in a four-story, wood-framed, 18,000-square-foot building. 50 small efficiency apartments and four live/work units range from 280 to 310 square feet.  There are also two street-level 1,000-square-foot commercial spaces. Noco is one of the first apartment buildings in Seattle to use next-generation solar technology for hot water. Building on the restrictively tight site required creativity and adaptability from the Clark team. Completed Summer 2018. The project was designed by JT Architecture for Dwell Development.

Press: Daily Journal of Commerce

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Pleasant Beach Lodge ahead of schedule

The Pleasant Beach Village Lodge is coming together beautifully. With an anticipated completion in late April, the lodge is ahead of schedule and currently in the finishes phase: trim, tile, and wood floors are going in. Crafted by Clark Construction to match the historical charm of the Lynwood Center neighborhood. This addition brings 10 new guest rooms in a 2-story, 6,800 sf. lodge to Pleasant Beach Village on Bainbridge Island.

Super solar a net-positive for Loom House

Energy independence is a key goal of the Living Building Challenge – projects must generate 105 percent of their own power using renewable sources, and provide onsite storage for system resiliency. It’s called net-positive energy, and it’s a very high bar to reach. 

The Loom House on Bainbridge Island is up to the challenge.

The distinctive midcentury-modern home – the first residential remodel set to achieve Living Building certification – will boast an expansive solar array plus cutting-edge battery backup. 

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A team from Cascadia Solar of Port Townsend was onsite this week, installing a powerful 15kW system against the backdrop of Puget Sound and the distant Seattle skyline.

To optimize solar harvest, project architects Miller Hull and Clark Construction shifted the home’s skylights to the north slope of the roof, leaving the expansive south slope totally open for solar.

The 42 powerful, 365-watt modules will enjoy generous solar exposure from daybreak through the afternoon. An onsite 13kWh, two-battery backup will capture excess production and keep the home humming if the local grid goes down during storms.

Couple the solar component with an ultra-tight building envelope, and you have a formula for comfortable, sustainable living: produce more energy, and use less.

Find out more about the Loom House’s many energy-efficient features here.

New Student Housing

Quality student housing is always in demand around the University of Washington, and Clark Construction, LLC is helping the developer to meet the need. The new 4710 Flats will bring 52 snug, comfortable apartment units to the U-District near campus, just a short walk to the University Village shopping area and other services. Apartment units range from 250-300 sf., over four floors with a rooftop deck, a great new addition to the neighborhood’s student housing stock.  Availability is set for mid-2019. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

What an amazing year 2018 has been for Clark Construction LLC! In this season of reflection and gratitude, we offer our thanks to all who have contributed to our achievements and success.

We’ve had so many showcase projects going on across the region, it’s hard to cite just a few. Certainly the Loom House on Bainbridge Island is proof-of-concept for applying rigorous Living Building Challenge standards to the restoration of older buildings. Other projects like the Pleasant Beach Village expansion and Manzanita Bay Home have been prominently featured in media, while Clark itself was profiled by our financing partner, Liberty Bay Bank, in their corporate promotions.

We’ve been proud to lend our support to many community causes, among them Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, Seattle Children’s Hospital, IslandWood, affordable housing (through our local Housing Resources Board) and popular community festivals like Taste of Lynwood. We’re committed to connection in all that we do.

Highlight of the year has certainly been the dedication of our beautiful and environmentally forward-thinking new offices on Bainbridge in Winslow town center. A top-to-bottom commercial restoration, our new home is a marquee for the latest eco-conscious building materials and techniques. Thank you to all who came to our September open house, and if you’ve not yet paid us a visit, please come by soon!

As the year winds to a close, we are profoundly grateful to our many clients and sub-contractors in all sectors – multi-family, residential, new construction and remodels – for putting your trust in our Clark Construction team.

We’re building something amazing, with you, for you.

Happy Thanksgiving from the entire team over here at Clark Construction.

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Beautiful Kingston Beach House

This custom residence is located on a waterfront infill site in Kingston, WA. The building is situated to meet flood, view blockage, and shoreline setback requirements. The exterior features an open-siding rainscreen system, with pre-finished tongue and groove tight knot cedar siding and viroc cement panels. Cantilevered concrete slabs and ipe decking provide ample outdoor living space. A rooftop garden and second floor ipe deck built on an aluminum subframe with a glass railing system add additional space for enjoying shoreline views. A slab floor with built-in radiant heat tops the wood-framed flooring system. Photos courtesy of Architect: Studio Zerbey

We can’t move mountains, but we can move a tree

When Clark Construction began renovating the Loom house on Bainbridge Island – bringing an older home up to the rigorous standards of the Living Building Challenge – we had to demonstrate exceptional concern for the environment. 

That care extended to the landscape , where a beautiful Chinese dogwood (Cornus kousa) was growing in the footprint of where the new carport is being built. 

The solution: move the tree. 

Working with Anne C. James of Anne James Landscape Architecture of Redmond, Wash., and David M. Ohashi of Ohashi Landscape Services of Issaquah, we saved the tree and safely relocated it elsewhere on the property. 

“It is a beautiful specimen,” landscape architect Anne James said, “and given the LBC mantra of no waste/re-use, I suggested it remain on the site, and we move it to a new location where it could be enjoyed by everyone crossing the new bridge to the entry.” 

Moving the tree was a precise and painstaking process, beginning with timing – the tree had to be moved during the winter dormant period, and was transplanted in February 2018.  

The soil at the outer perimeter of the root zone was excavated with an air spade to reduce the weight of the root ball to be lifted, an estimated 5,500-6,000 pounds. 

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The air spade removes soil with compressed air, blowing the soilaway and leaving the roots intact and undamaged.  About two feet of soil was removed around the perimeter, leaving a root ball about eight feet across, with a couple more feet of roots dangling in mid-air beyond all the way around.  

These exposed roots were painted with a hydrogel to keep them from drying out until the root ball was hand dug and wrapped in burlap, and the tree moved a couple of days later.  

A large, extended-reach forklift was used to transport the tree to the lower driveway, where it could be maneuvered into place.  

The tree has settled in nicely, and bloomed in July.

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New Clark Office OPEN HOUSE - October 12

We are very excited to announce the big move to our new, permanent offices at 355 Ericksen Ave, here on Bainbridge Island! At Clark Construction we are committed to efficient, sustainable building practices, and that starts with our own building. We invite you to stop by anytime between 3 and 7pm this Friday, October 12th. Parking is limited, so we suggest parking at Bainbridge Performing Arts, and walking up. We look forward to welcoming you to our new home! View the official invite here.

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Fundraiser for affordable housing on Bainbridge Island

Clark Construction is a sponsor of Housing Resources Bainbridge and encourages you to attend their annual breakfast, Oct. 18. This great fundraiser for affordable housing on Bainbridge Island runs 7:30-9 a.m. at Wing Point Golf and Country Club.  Bainbridge has historically been home to people of all income levels and backgrounds. This year's breakfast highlights the stories of island natives, a business owner with Bainbridge family ties, and other remarkable people from around the community.  Funds raised from the event support island housing programs, maintaining HRB's affordable rental units, and making more units available in the future. 

Register for this great event by Oct. 15 here.

Find out more at www.housingresourcesbi.org.

Tree protection at the Loom House

You value your trees, and so do we. Clark Construction goes out of our way to protect existing trees, vegetation and landscaping on every job site, from remodels to new construction. One of our strategies: cladding your trees in 2x4s throughout the construction cycle, to prevent accidental bumps and bruises from equipment. See this care in action at Bainbridge Island’s Loom house, a Living Building Challenge remodel, where the grounds are heavily treed with both native firs and ornamentals. 

Often you’ll see people protect trees with plywood boxes, but we did something smarter – and much truer to the spirit of LBC. We salvaged framing and deck material during demolition, and repurposed the pieces that weren’t in the best condition for reuse to protect these beautiful established trees.

When we leave your site at the end of the project, your trees won’t know we were even there. We make our mark by not leaving any.