Downtime with Stephen Aiguier

Jason E. Kaplan

How the founder and president of Green Hammer Design Build unwinds

Share this article!

What are you reading?

I’m currently reading Trevor Noah’s autobiography, Born a Crime. I love it. Trevor is a brilliant storyteller. His ability to relate the brutal truths and horror of growing up under the shadow of apartheid and still bring levity to make you smile and laugh is incredible.

What are you watching?

The Outlaws and Bridgerton season two. At our house, we are suckers for underdog mischief and rom-coms.

What are you listening to?

DakhaBrakha is a Ukrainian quartet, currently touring to support the war efforts in Ukraine. DakhaBrakha has been protesting Putin’s regime and threat to Ukraine for years. I highly recommend a live performance, or at least a YouTube video clip, to truly appreciate how outstanding they are.

What is your must-have gadget?

I always keep my TSA-approved Pocket-Monkey multitool in my wallet, and whenever appropriate, I’ll have my Leatherman Wave on my belt.

What are your hobbies/interests?

This is my eighth season coaching Eastside Portland Lacrosse for my daughter’s teams and I absolutely love it! I play pick-up basketball religiously on Monday nights. I also love percussion and lately have been playing a lot of Afro-Cuban rhythms like guaguanco, tumbao and rumba on my congas. I can’t leave out surfing on the Pacific Northwest coast and playing in the backcountry with my family and our dogs.

What was your childhood ambition?

As a child, I really wanted to be Indiana Jones. As a teenager I was too anti societal norms to take seriously any traditional life path; all my observations told me we were headed down the wrong path. I knew I wanted to affect change and would later take inspiration from a multitude of experiences as a young adult.

Where is your favorite place to vacation?

I love hiking, biking, swimming, cross-country skiing and playing around in the Green Mountains of Vermont, where I grew up. Otherwise, I love touring the world and seeking out hidden treasures and adventure amongst different cultures, foodand landscapes.

What motivates you to come to work?

My amazing team and the work we do to create zero-carbon buildings that promote health and protect the planet. Buildings are a primary contributor to climate change, and we are part of the solution. As a B-Corp, we have a strong focus on both environmental and social-justice issues. Maintaining our B-Corp status challenges us to constantly innovate and improve the way we do business. We have completed a multitude of “firsts” in our regional industry. In many ways, we are the transformational disrupter that would have inspired me as a teenager.

Who is your professional role model?   

Leaders and activists like my daughter, Olive, and Greta Thunberg, who fiercely remind me why we must take action and who we are doing this important work for.

What ambitions do you still have?

I strongly believe healthy buildings are a basic human right. I’ve spent the past 20 years building a company to explore and innovate what healthy buildings can look like. We’ve pushed the envelope in every practical direction imaginable. We now understand the most cost-effective measures to design-build healthy buildings. I want to share our expertise and assemble the right project teams that are willing and able to fund the gap between near-term “affordable” buildings and long-term healthy buildings to support the health of communities and a thriving natural world.

To subscribe to Oregon Business, click here