On April 1st through 3rd, the International Living Future Institute (ILFI) held its ninth annual “UnConference." Architects, landscape architects, engineers, ecologists, manufacturers, and other professionals focused on sustainability in the built environment from all over the world gathered in Seattle to discuss this year’s theme of how a sense of place and community can play a role in restorative design. Here are some of the big announcements made at last week’s event:The Launch of the Living Product Challenge
Complementing the Living Building Challenge (LBC), ILFI's new certification standard aims to encourage manufacturers to reduce a product’s footprint across factors such as carbon, water, and energy, and to make goods through a net-positive impact process. Like LBC, the Living Product Challenge comprises seven performance categories, or petals: beauty, energy, equity, health and happiness, materials, place, and water.
LEED to Recognize Living Building Challenge Energy and Water Petals
The U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC's) LEED system will begin accepting the energy and water requirements from the LBC in an effort to create "harmonization between systems" that are often seen in competition with each other, said USGBC chief product officer Scot Horst in a press release. Projects that meet these two requirements in the LBC will be technically equivalent to LEED.
ILFI announced seven projects that have achieved LBC certification in 2015:
- The Bullitt Center (a commercial building that serves as home to ILFI among other organizations), in Seattle, and Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens Center for Sustainable Landscapes, in Pittsburgh, now have full LBC certification.
- The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Offices in Beijing (China’s first LBC-certified project) and Berea College's Deep Green Student Residence Hall, in Berea, Ky., achieved petal certification.
- West Berkeley Public Library, in Berkeley, Calif.; Sacred Heart Stevens Library in Atherton, Calif.; and the Mission Zero House in Ann Arbor, Mich., were named net-zero energy–certified projects.
Nine years after the launch of
the LBC, there are now 25 projects verified by one of the program's three certification paths: eight have achieved full certification, four
have received petal certification, and 12 have achieved net-zero energy building certification.
There are also 250 registered projects, covering almost 9 million square feet
in 12 states and five countries.
“What has always been considered the most comprehensive performance-based green building standard in the world was once thought to be an impossibility—a bar set too high,” said ILFI’s CEO Jason McLennan in a press release. “A mere nine years later, we have a diverse collection of twenty-five projects that are truly the most forward-thinking and regenerative projects in the world. It is a testament to the power of possibility and a beacon for inspired design.”
Honors and Recognitions
- ILFI honored Muscoe Martin, an active leader in the green building movement who died on Dec. 28, 2014. Martin was known for his work with the USGBC and the AIA Committee on the Environment.
- ILFI named 10 recipients of this year's LBC Hero awards: Dale Mikkelsen of SFU Community, Charley Stevenson of Integrated Eco Strategy, Anthony Guerrero of NRDC, Mary Louise Vidas of Vidas Architecture, Tom Elliott and Barbara Scott of Desert Rain House, Bill Updike of the District Department of the Environment, Michelle Johansson of Jasmax, Tricia Love of Trivia Love Consultants, and Alejandro Lirusso of Bioe.
- Flooring materials company Mohawk Group received ILFI's 2015 Manufacturer’s Award for its 19 Declare labels across multiple brands. ILFI’s Declare marker is like a nutrition label for the building industry, requiring companies to disclose the ingredients of their products.
- Colin Fay won ILFI’s #MyLivingFuture photo contest, which challenged conference attendees to share their perspective of place and perspective, with this Instagram.
- Living Product unExpo: Sept. 16–18, 2015, Pittsburgh. This inaugural event will center on the way materials are designed, manufactured, and delivered.
- Living Future “UnConference” 2016: May 11–13, Seattle. The theme will be truth and transparency.
Note: This article has been updated with the correct name of the Natural Resources Defense Council.