Did you know that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency claims about 40 to 50 percent of wood from demolished buildings can be reused in new construction? While in the past there were limited ways to recycle wood in the United States, it’s becoming a more common practice because there are so many ways recycled wood can be used by builders.

One of our favorite reclaimed timber projects was Trey Parker’s Steamboat Springs home. In his home, we used timbers that had been salvaged from a railroad bridge that had at one time covered a part of the Great Salt Lake, much to the delight of local wildlife who thought the salted timbers were dessert. Using reclaimed timber was a great choice to create the look that was desired for this home, as well as a way to continue in our efforts of creating an environmentally friendly home.

Reclaimed timber beams are also a great choice because aged wood is seasoned, which means it is more stable than newly cut wood. Along with using reclaimed timber beams, wood that has is historic, recycled, or reclaimed can also be used for flooring and walls in new construction. Recycled wood can also be useful as garden or yard art, or to create new furniture. Using reclaimed and recycled wood doesn’t have to stop at the framing of a home.

Here at Trilogy Partners, we strive to be as environmentally responsible as possible in our building practices. Using reclaimed timber and recycled wood is just one way we achieve that goal.

Reclaimed Timber Frame house

Michael Rath, a Trilogy Partner, has co-founded The Haiti Orphan Rescue Program (HORP) to build permanent adequate shelter for Haitian orphaned and abandoned children.

Mike M January 2010

Joined by builders Mike Mahon and Andrea DeLuca of sustainable building company Adaptive Building Solutions in Ann Arbor, Michigan, HORP will raise funds and assist Haitian labor to construct multiple orphanage projects over the coming years. Haiti’s “children without family” receive no aid from their government, and Mike M and his family have years of experience in Haiti helping these most vulnerable Haitians and their caregivers with support and medical aid. The earthquake of January 12, 2010 left more than 500,000 children without family or government support, spurring the two Mikes and Andrea to establish HORP as a non-profit 501(c) charitable organization. The next project commences mid April when members of HORP will travel to Haiti to refurbish a damaged orphanage housing 20 children more than half with disabilities. Visit HORP to learn more about this worthy cause and to contribute through programs like the “Adopt an Orphanage” and “HORP Ambassadors.”


The first match of the World Cup will be played tomorrow as the home team of South Africa competes against Mexico.  Although soccer (football) isn’t as big in the United States as it is for the rest of the world, there is still much excitement and anticipation whenever the World Cup is played.

In gearing up for the big match that is taking place Saturday when our team, USA, takes on England we thought we’d share something we came across on Inhabitots.com.

“Just in time for the World Cup tournament, a group of enterprising women entrepreneurs has unveiled a soccer ball that captures and stores energy generated by play. Called the sOccket (a mashup of “soccer” and “socket”), the ingenious little ball was created by Harvard alums Jessica Lin, Jessica Matthews, Julia Silverman, and Hemali Thakkar with developing nations in mind….” click here to read the article in its entirety.

We thought we’d share some beautifully designed American Stables that we came across in the June issue of Architectural Digest for those of you who witnessed Drosselmeyer 13-1 upset in the 142nd Belmont Stakes over the weekend.

Below are a few of our favorites.

This ranch in Montana was made out of recycled pine logs and native fieldstone.

This above stable in East Hampton, New York belongs to Steven Spielberg and his wife, Kate Capshaw.  The weathervane on top of the stable is in the form of a dinosaur reminiscent of Spielberg’s film Jurassic Park.

According to Architectural Digest this stable is one of “Kentucky’s showplace for racing and breeding thoroughbreds. Located in Lexington, the property has 847 acres of lavish pastureland and more than 40 buildings, including a 14-room residence, 15 white barns with red-trimmed cupolas, a sophisticated veterinary clinic, an equine swimming pool and underwater treadmill, two racetracks, a gazebo and a modest log cabin.”

AD: “Frank Lloyd Wright couldn’t design an ordinary-looking building,” says producer Joel Silver, who restored the little-known Auldbrass, Wright’s 1939 plantation in Yemassee, South Carolina. A crushed-brick walkway leads to the barn. “By folding the roof down and the corners of the doors back, Wright created something origami-like,” Silver notes.

The next Team Trilogy member we wanted to highlight is Melinda Fleming.  For those of you who have worked with Melinda, you know she is more than just our business manager.  She is instrumental in making sure Trilogy Partners runs smoothly and efficiently.  Read below to learn more about Melinda.

Melinda Fleming

I grew up in Oklahoma and every year my family vacationed in Colorado. I fell in love with Colorado and the mountains on these vacations. My husband and I moved to Colorado in 1998. I spent the first years in Summit County working for Vail Resorts and an internet company before joining Trilogy Partners in 2004.

My husband and I have a hot air balloon and we spend our spare time sharing the sport of hot air ballooning with friends. We enjoy being able to view the Rocky Mountains from our balloon, the best view in town. We also enjoy snowmobiling and snowshoeing in the winter. These are great ways to experience the back country and truly enjoy nature at its finest.

I love my job and I feel privileged to work with the team of people that makes up Trilogy Partners. The thing I enjoy the most about my job is working with our clients through the entire project. It is very fulfilling to be a part of the team that takes the designs and ideas of clients and turns them into a home. It is great to be a part of taking people’s dreams and visions and turning them into reality.

Breckenridge is now the place that I call home. I hope in five years that I am still here enjoying the lifestyle the county has to offer and I still want to be a part of the great team here at Trilogy Partners.

We recently read an article on Residential Design & Build Magazine about the growing need for custom built second homes.  RBD magazine has found that  builders are still “creating high-end vacation retreats designed with a family-friendly emphasis, and with budgets that often rival those of their owner’s primary residences.”   With second homes, buyers are are looking to build a home complete will all the amenities of their primary residence, but with a more casual look and feel.

Residential Design and Build also stated in their article that “Creating these comfortable, laid-back homes can be a deceptively stressful experience.  First, from a planning standpoint, the lots often are challenging… the high demand for access to water and views means building sites can be both expensive and narrow, so architects have to be creative to make the most of the scenery while also protecting privacy.

Also, in many cases designers and builders are working with either clients or design professionals from other states. This forces the team to create — and stick to — communication plans. It also can require educating both clients and remote building team members about local codes and practices that may differ from what they’re used to.”

That is why when building your second or vacation home, it is important to find a firm who will work closely with you on all aspects of the project.  At Trilogy Partners we partner with our clients to guide projects from concept through construction to completion.

We were recently featured in Architectural Digest for our design work on Trey Parker’s (creator of South Park) home.  Architectural Digest is known for their featured stories on the inside of celebrity homes and below are photos from AD’s Celebrities’ Favorites.

AD: “Orange is the happiest color,” Frank Sinatra said of his favorite hue, which showed up in his clothes and his homes. Sinatra bought a modest house at the Tamarisk Country Club in Rancho Mirage in the mid-1950s and lived there until May 1995. A caboose, a gift from some of his employees in 1971, became the compound’s main hangout. Inside the caboose—with it’s orange-colored walls and ceiling—was a full-service salon, complete with a barber’s chair, a professional hair dryer, a massage table, a scale and a sauna, at rear.

AD: The living room of Diane Keaton’s Spanish Colonial Revival house in Bel-Air reveals the actress’s enthusiasm and knowledge of California art and design. Canyon de Chelly, a work by Edgar Payne, left, joins a 1937 oil by Pete Martinez, center, and Maynard Dixon’s 1923 The Grim Wall. A hand-painted Monterey sofa and an art-tile table rest on a rug by Stephen Shadley, Keaton’s longtime friend and designer. Of Monterey furniture, Shadley observes, “Diane has the best collection anywhere.”

AD: Throughout her life, Marilyn Monroe occupied a series of residences, owned no jewelry and counted books, records and a picture of legendary actress Eleonora Duse among her most cherished possessions. Even after attention-getting roles in The Asphalt Jungle and All About Eve (both 1950), she still kept a modest, one-room apartment at the Beverly Carlton Hotel in Beverly Hills. “I’m not interested in money,” she once said. “I just want to be wonderful.”

Which is your favorite celebrity home?

At Trilogy, we not only believe strongly in sustainable or green building practices, but we lead by example and encourage our clients to embrace these philosophies.  This year we built the first Zero Net Energy home every constructed in Breckenridge, Colorado and are excited to see other architects doing the same across the country.

Project FROG, a green-building company founded in San Francisco in 2006, is leading the way by building energy-efficient modular systems, primarily in schools.  The best part is that Project FROG can build these schools more quickly and with a cost of about 25% less than permanent structured schools.

According to Inhabitots.com, “A two million dollar budget got Watkinson School 3,500 square feet of classroom space built from 50 percent recycled material. The building is outfitted with 60 solar panels that reduce the electricity costs to zero (in fact it produces more energy than the building uses). And because of the modular design, the project took only six months to complete.”

Project FROG was recently featured on Anderson Cooper’s 360.  Click here take a look at this short clip and see why Zero Net Energy is leading the way.

The International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) is going on now in NYC, and we have the latest products to hit the scene!  One of our favorite sites Inhabitat.com calls this event “the epicenter of New York Design Week” and we couldn’t agree more.  It looks like energy-efficient lighting and turning recycled materials into furnishings is still big for 2010.  Check out some of the trends coming out of the show so far from Inhabitat.com.

BRC Design has turned 350 retired Las Vegas playing cards into one unique lounge chair.  Available in Blue and Red playing cards.

We just love these chandeliers!!  We can’t believe they are made from draped ball chain.

How about Manuel Kloker’s “Private Cloud” rocking bed?  Talk about rocking one to sleep.

Trilogy uses a team approach on each project. We rely on long standing relationships with our design and build partners to bring about the best results for our clients. And we rely on a very talented and hardworking Trilogy crew to supervise design, construction, and interior design with outstanding results.  That being said we thought we would have each member of our team answer a few questions so you can get to know them a little bit better.

Michael Rath

  1. Year Joined Trilogy: 1998
  2. Position: Managing Partner
  3. Education: Williams College
  4. Other work Experience: Financial Markets, Independent Film Making in New York
  5. Favorite Things: Happy Clients, unique projects and creativity, Colorado when it’s warm and Hawaii when it isn’t
  6. Best Trilogy Moment: Finishing our first house and selling it the next day. WE WERE IN BUSINESS.
  7. The worst thing about working here is: Working outside when the weather is cold, and paperwork
  8. The best thing I’ve learned is: Think outside the box. Always. Create, don’t repeat.
  9. Where do you want to be in 5 years: Here, there, and everywhere designing great homes, working with amazing clients, finding just the right piece of furniture in a market in Bali.
  10. Most notable memory while at Trilogy:There have been so many. Not long ago I was driving across the Mojave desert from California pulling a Uhaul full of very expensive Japanese furniture for one of our clients. We could not find a shipper who could deliver in time to move the clients into their new home by Christmas, so not only had I purchased the furniture, I was delivering it.The phone rang and it was Melinda, our operations manager. She had called to tell me that Trilogy had won Summit County Builder of the Year. I thanked her for calling and went back to driving. It would have been nice to have been at the awards ceremony, but it was also great to be getting the furniture back to Colorado.

    Suddenly there was a car behind me honking its horn. Lights flashed and the car pulled up along side me. I was going about 80 miles an hour as the passenger rolled down his window and shouted something at me. I couldn’t hear, and he shouted again. He pointed back and suddenly it dawned on me. I quickly pulled over and ran to the back of the trailer. Yes, the door somehow had come wide open. But somehow, not one stick of furniture was lost.

    That was a good day.

We also wanted to mention that Michael is co-founder of  Haiti Orphan Rescue Project and was recently in Haiti where he is helping to build sustainable children’s communities.  Click  here to learn more on how you can help the Haiti Orphan Rescue Project.

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