Living Building Challenge

Living Building Challenge 150 150 Affordable Capstone Projects Written from Scratch


The class I am taking is Introduction to Renewable Energy Regulations. We’ve been instructed to write a research paper geared towards renewable energy. I would like a paper discussing the living building challenge. Please include a description of what a living building is, what is required for a building to be called a ‘living building’, and briefly describe a few that have been built around the globe and how they are beneficial to the environment. If space permits, please include a bit about how the world could benefit from more living buildings.

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In recent years, the issue of climate change and its impact have been one of the main agendas in various platforms. New efforts and strategies are being created to help establish resilient communities and cities. The Living Building Challenge (LBC) is an effort taking place in the built environment for building owners, architects, engineers, design professionals, and contractors. These professionals are challenged to move from efforts of doing less harm to the environment to becoming stewards and co-creators of a true living future. The challenge was issued by the International Living Building Institute (ILBI) which was founded in 2009 by the Cascadia Region Green Building Council (Boecker, Scot, & Reed, 2009). Projects that achieve the best performance in the Living Building Challenge are privileged to be the greenest in their country and they are as close to attaining sustainability. For projects to be certified they must meet Living Building Challenge standards. These standards are in seven petals which are location, energy, water, health and happiness, materials, beauty, and equity. LBC is significant in striving towards sustainable buildings and cities.

History of Living Building Challenge

In the mid-nineties, the idea of the living building first emerged during the launch of Epicenter project. The project was funded by NIST in Bozeman, Montana and was aimed at producing the most innovative sustainable design project worldwide (Thomas, 2016). The managers of Epicenter project conducted the research of the project, and they were able to originally conceptualize the idea of living Building. They continued to develop the requirements for the project and they published several articles on the concept they had. In 2000, the environmental and economic impacts of the Living Building project were researched and in 2001, the findings were presented in a document (Thomas, 2016). The document was called the Packard Matrix. From the Packard Matrix documents, the researchers revealed that the standards of living Building were the best durable choice economically. However, the project required a high cost for the first-cost premium. In 2005, one of the project managers, McLennan, created a challenge from the concept and it was referred to as the Living Building Challenge (LBC) (Thomas, 2016). In August the same year, McLennan presented the challenge to Cascadia where the project was launched three months later. Cascadia then founded the International Living Building Institute (ILBI) in 2009 (Thomas, 2016). ILBI was established to boost the creation of Living Building, Sites, and Communities around the globe. Through the Institute people were inspired, educated, and motivated regarding the need for fundamental and transformative change.