Thinking Green: Living Building Challenge
The Living Building Challenge is attempting to raise the bar and define the most advanced measure of sustainability in the built environment, using a benchmark of what is currently possible and given the best knowledge available today.
Started by the Cascadia Building Counsel in 2006, it is comprised of 16 prerequisites and six areas of concentration. It takes LEED and pushes it to the next level. There are no points to be achieved just prerequisites.
The rules are simple:
1. There are no credits – just prerequisites.
2. There are 15 prerequisites; and all must be met to achieve Living Site and
Infrastructure status. Many of the prerequisites have “exceptions” that show up in
the footnotes and that are intended to acknowledge market realities. The standard
needs to be challenging – but not impossible to obtain. These exceptions are
temporary, and will be removed as the market evolves.
3. As with the Living Building Challenge, leadership in any category will be rewarded
by ‘Petal’ recognition. For example, a project that succeeds in Net-Zero Water and
Sustainable Water Discharge will earn the ‘Water Petal.’ All Petals must be earned
for a project to achieve Living Site and Infrastructure status.
Living Buildings have their own ‘utility,’ generating their own energy and processing their own waste. They more appropriately match scale to technology and end use, and result in greater self-sufficiency and security. Yet, the ideal scale for solutions is not always at the level of a single building. Depending on the
technology, the optimal scale can vary when considering environmental impact, first cost and operating costs. To address these realities, the Living Building Challenge has inserted the concept of Scale-Jumping to allow multiple buildings or projects to operate in a symbiotic state – sharing green infrastructure as appropriate and allowing for Living Building status to be achieved as elegantly and efficiently as possible.
For more information go to www.cascadiagbc.org - or follow the link my links.
Posted by Maya Camou