What if every single act of design and construction made the world a better place?
From the International Living Future Institute – The Living Building Challenge is comprised of seven performance areas: Site, Water, Energy, Health, Materials, Equity and Beauty.
Why is it a challenge?
Infusing inspiration and poetry. Rewarding early adopters. Creating new models. Stirring the pot. Pulling the market forward.
There are two rules:
- All Imperatives assigned to a Typology are mandatory.
Some Typologies require fewer than twenty Imperatives because the conditions are either not applicable or may compromise other critical needs. However, teams are encouraged to integrate the optional. Many of the Imperatives have temporary exceptions to acknowledge current market limitations. These are listed in the footnotes of each section. Temporary exceptions will be modified or removed as the market changes. With this Standard, the Institute requires advocacy for the essential improvements to the building industry.
- Living Building Challenge certification is based on actual, rather than modelled or anticipated, performance. Therefore, projects must be operational for at least twelve consecutive months prior to evaluation.
There are 4 typologies:
- Renovation: This typology is for any project that does not form the substantial portion of a complete building reconstruction. Sample projects include single-floor tenant improvements, residential kitchen remodels or historic rehabilitations of a portion of a building.
- Landscape or Infrastructure (non-conditioned development): This typology is for any project that does not include a physical structure as part of its primary program, although open-air ‘park-like’ structures, restrooms, amphitheatres and the like do fall into this category. Projects may be as diverse as roads, bridges, plazas, sports facilities or trails.
- Building: This typology is for any project that encompasses the construction of a roofed and walled structure created for permanent use – either new or existing.
- Neighbourhood: This typology is for any project that contains multiple buildings in a continuous campus, neighbourhood, district or village. Sample projects include university, college or corporate campuses; residential streets; business or industrial districts; or small villages and towns.
There are 7 PETALS and 20 Imperatives
PLACE: Restoring a healthy coexistence with nature
- 01 LIMITS TO GROWTH
- 02 URBAN AGRICULTURE
- 03 HABITAT EXCHANGE
- 04 CAR FREE LIVING
WATER: Creating water independent sites, buildings and communities
- 05 NET ZERO WATER
ENERGY: Relying only on current solar income
- 06 NET ZERO ENERGY
HEALTH: Maximising physical and psychological health and well being
- 07 CIVILIZED ENVIRONMENT
- 08 HEALTHY INTERIOR ENVIRONMENT
- 09 BIOPHILIC ENVIRONMENT
MATERIALS: Endorsing products and processes that are safe for all species through time
- 10 RED LIST
- 11 EMBODIED CARBON FOOTPRINT
- 12 RESPONSIBLE INDUSTRY
- 13 LIVING ECONOMY SOURCING
- 14 NET POSITIVE WASTE
EQUITY: Supporting a just, equitable world
- 15 HUMAN SCALE + HUMANE PLACES
- 16 UNIVERSAL ACCESS TO NATURE + PLACE
- 17 EQUITABLE INVESTMENT
18 JUST ORGANISATIONS
BEAUTY: Celebrating design that creates transformative change
- 19 BEAUTY + SPIRIT
- 20 INSPIRATION + EDUCATION
Certification can be
- Full certification: All imperatives are mandatory and based on actual performance
- Petal certification: Three petals or more (05, 06 and either 01 or 20)
- Net Zero Energy Building Certification: Four Imperatives (01, 07, 19, 20)
Living Transect Category
Every project must select a Living Transect category from the following options:
- L1. Natural Habitat Preserve (Greenfield sites): This is comprised of land that is set aside as a nature preserve
or is defined as sensitive ecological habitat.
- L2. Rural Agriculture Zone: This is comprised of land with a primary function for agriculture and development that relates specifically to the production of food as described in Imperative Two: Urban Agriculture. Small towns and villages do not apply. (Floor Area Ratio ≤ 0.09)
- L3. Village or Campus Zone: This is comprised of relatively low-density mixed-use development found in rural villages and towns, and may also include college or university campuses. (FAR of 0.1 – 0.49)
- L4. General Urban Zone: This is comprised of light- to medium-density mixed-use development found in larger villages, small towns or at the edge of larger cities. (FAR of 0.5 – 1.49)
- L5. Urban Center Zone: This is comprised of a medium- to high-density mixed-use development found in small to mid-sized cities or in the first ‘ring’ of a larger city. (FAR of 1.5 – 2.99)
- L6. Urban Core Zone: This is comprised of high-to very high-density mixed use development found in large cities and metropolises. (FAR. ≥ 3.0)
Certification made easy
Since its public launch in November 2006, the Living Building Challenge™ has inspired thousands of people throughout the world to action. Project teams are innovating solutions to create net zero energy, water independent, non-toxic, and culturally rich projects. Examples of projects that have achieved certification through the Living Building Challenge:
Source: Living Building Challenge and Case Studies