Projects that are able to meet the Living Building Challenge (LBC) standards are considered exemplary models of green construction and have received the highest level of environmental attention.
Started by Jason F. McLennan, Bob Berkebile and the Cascadia Green Building Council the LBC is a program that encourages construction focused on sustainable energies, water and materials.
Requirements are made up of different performance categories, or Petals, which are sectioned into Imperatives. These include: Place, Water, Energy, Health and Happiness, Materials, Equity and Beauty. Additionally, projects have to recognize their Living Transect, which concentrates on the actual site chosen for development.
Construction projects can register to obtain Living Certification under the program if they are able to meet and maintain a series of strict requirements including a documentation process one year after being occupied. A partial certification level is also available.
Living buildings do not use toxic supplies, and strict attention is paid to chemicals and materials utilized during building.
A main purpose is to reduce waste and redetermine how resources, like water, are used. From the resilient framework to the paint finishes the emphasis is on conservation, reusing, net zero energy, fresh air, a healthy environment and access to nature.
According to the association the idea is about obtaining a regenerative living future, concentrating on net positive waste, water and energy. Buildings registered with the project must meet a high standard of either creating more energy than the structure actually needs or tending to an ecological issue through its production.
Additionally, there is a Living Product Challenge and a Living Community Challenge that were initiated to support the use of green supplies and to address specific neighborhood and communal initiatives.
The developers of the program have stated that it is not meant to detract from other environmentally focused rating systems and certifications, but rather is intended to further the effort of ecologically inclined buildings and residences.
Reinventing the way structures are produced, with the goal of sustainability and attention to environmental impact, will hopefully pave the way for future constructions.
The following infographic from Skanska provides a good visual explanation of the process:
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