How can regenerative buildings help re-generate lives?

warriors dining hall in the afternoon

Warriors’ Ascent

How can regenerative buildings help re-generate lives?

Warriors’ Ascent is an innovative, evidence-based program that provides a powerful healing experience for Active Duty Military, Veterans, and First Responders who are suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress. The Green Warrior Society is working with Warriors’ Ascent to design a retreat facility in Missouri according to Living Building Standards. The project, from construction through operations, will be an opportunity for skill-building, education and support for the re-entry for these remarkable individuals to everyday life.

For more information, visit Warriors’ Ascent

Project Name
Warriors’ Ascent
Therapeutic Retreat, Masterplan
Residential, Health & Wellness
Kansas, MO
Concept Development
Program Size:
36,000 SQFT  
Site area:

116.6 Acres
Warriors’ Ascent  
Design/Project Team
Jason F McLennan, Dale Duncan, Jason Wilkinson, Joshua Fisher, Steven Christian, Julia Drachman

Existing Site Analysis

Patterns and Principles 

Prospect and Refuge

One of the key principles that guided design concpets was the idea to thoughtfully place each building in a location that relates to it’s function in the Warriors’ Ascent journey. We place activity spaces in barns out in the open meadow overlooking their respective zones with views of the surrounding. Neslted down out of sight are the half buried Warrior’s quarters and ceremonial circles. These buildings are carved out of the hill and provide inward views to the fire circle and forest, taking advantage of the privacy and contemplative feeling provided by the inward facing buildings.


The design concept for the major programmatic elements thoughtfully relate to the Warriors’ Ascent day-by-day program philosophy and sequence. We take advantage of the unique characteristics of the site, open meadowlands and protected forest fingers, and currate the day-to-day experience of guests by taking them on a journey from the protected and shaded forest, over streams via bridges, and then expose them out in the open meadow as they make their way to daily activities in the meadow barns. This transition between dark and light and over streams helps reinforce the medatitive aspects to the programs philosophy.

Warriors Quarters

Nestled and carved into the meadow hills, the Warrior Quarters will be contemplative spaces that allow Warrior’s a place of prospect and refuge with views inward to the fire circle and of the forest edge nearby. Designed to integrate seamlessly with the landscape, these buildings will be almost invisible from above and only reveal themselves upon arrival. Aiming for LBC Petal Certification, the Quarters will aim to be Net Zero Energy and Net Zero Water and function as the cohort sleeping rooms, living room with kitchenette, and include a room for program mentors.

The Activity Barn

Situated in one of the most quiet and distant open meadows on the site, the activity barn will be one of the last spaces program attendees will discover and includes one of the most important aspects of the program, the Leap of Faith, where Warriors’ literally jump to a free fall from atop a 40′ pole as a trust building exercise. 

The activity barn will include an enclosed leap of faith, climbing wall, and flexible programmatic space for a variety of events and functions.

Warrior's Hall

As the main communal space for the program, the Warrior’s Hall is the first building guests will visit and experience. The hall includes dining, living, kitchen, and offices for the program and will the threshold to the rest of the property. Situated at the gateway to the site, the barn will provide an expansive view over what will be a restored prairie and new forest buffer. 

The Hall is aiming for Living Building Challenge Petal Certification and will showcase the deepest level of greenbuilding. The design is inspired by the barn typology and will include an 100’+ rammed earth wall that feature the gateway entrance to the property for Warriors.