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Lutheranch Retreat Center

Called “a place apart to experience God and community,” Lutheranch is a harmonious marriage of a natural environment with modern conveniences. This retreat-style lodge was a CM at Risk project featuring two stories in one section of the building and a rusticmodern design throughout. Though beautiful, the isolated and lake-neighboring location held challenges as it was removed from paved roads and had limited utilities. To combat this, we used a temporary generator, employed methods of erosion control, and worked around the weather to make this project an award-winning success.

Lutheranch offers many examples of RKR’s resourcefulness and creativity. When our team hit rock during the slab rough-in, we had to bring in specialty excavation equipment to remove 40 cubic yards of trench rock from the site. There were also numerous unusual installs, such as the roofing and dry sprinkler system, that required quick and creative thinking. Further, we installed hard wood flooring on top of concrete stairs in order to allow room for the wood so that the floors would align. Meanwhile, in the lobby, the team built a seamlessly camouflaged door behind reception and fabricated a custom reception desk on site by using cold roll steel and wood.

An added challenge was the client’s realization that the original design would extend beyond the budget. With collaboration and real-time pricing information, the team identified material substitutions that provided savings to the project without sacrificing scope or material quality. That collaborative spirit combined with careful planning helped the team match the client’s vision to the budget requirements, accommodating four extensive value engineer sessions that resulted in $500,000 saving without any sacrifice in quality or functionality.

Excellent project management and clear communication were some of this project’s crowning achievements. The project manager met with the client every two weeks to review job progress. The team also leveraged technology to keep everyone informed and supplied with documents. Technology also helped maintain communication with the remote, North Carolina-based owner. We used two-week look-ahead schedules to keep the project on track and kept a living schedule due to all the nuances with the odd install sequencing requirements. Towards the end of the job, the team produced daily schedules to coordinate all sub activity.

Overall, our team compensated for lost time, kept in excellent communication with the client, and collaborated with other on site teams (sometimes with even five crews present at once) to ensure clear vision and progress. The project moved at a steady pace under a tight schedule, taking less than 12 months with about 10 months of active construction. Also, our dedication to safety proved effective once again as we had no reported incidents or lost time accidents.

Despite the setbacks and unforeseen circumstances, the RKR team successfully preserved the intent and feel of the project, crafting it to become a peaceful retreat space while balancing budget demands with creative solutions.

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