The International Living Future Institute's Living Building Challenge is regularly viewed as a more stringent alternative to LEED, the green-building certification of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). While only a few of the former have been constructed, nearly 69,000 of the latter exist globally to make it the most popular green rating system in the world. In an effort to streamline the process of certification--effectively encouraging project teams to seek both paths--the USGBC announced that it will now recognize the water and energy requirements of the LBC for projects seeking LEED certification.
Scot Horst, the USGBC's chief product officer, said in a press release that the LBC plays a crucial role in establishing criteria for high-performing buildings and should therefore complement LEED. The end goal remains the same: operating an energy-efficient building. The new motion will see the LBC's energy and water requirements considered as technically equivalent to LEED's; buildings must generate more than they use.
The USGBC's LEED has been streamlining its certification measures over the course of the past several years. In 2012, LEED began recognizing energy credits from the U.K.'s green building rating program, Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method. Unifying other programs around the world with LEED is a pragmatic move, as it is the world's most widely used rating program today, with nearly 69,000 certified commercial buildings in more than 150 countries.