Left: Jason McLennan; Right: Amanda Sturgeon
The Living Future Institute Left: Jason McLennan; Right: Amanda Sturgeon

Today, the International Living Future Institute (ILFI) announced that its founder and CEO Jason McLennan will transition into the role of chair of the Seattle-based organization’s board of directors and focus on his own newly-launched practice, McLennan Design. ILFI executive director Amanda Sturgeon, FAIA, will replace McLennan as CEO on Jan. 1, 2016.

In 2006, McLennan founded the ILFI and launched the Living Building Challenge (LBC), a rigorous green building performance standard that has to date verified 25 projects: eight have achieved full Living Building certification, six have received Petal certification, and 12 have achieved net-zero energy building certification.

In 2012, LBC won the Buckminster Fuller Challenge, which recognizes holistic design initiatives that advance human health and the environment.

In a letter emailed to press and the ILFI community, McLennan states that in 2013, he started realized he was nearing the end of a long list of goals he wanted to achieve as CEO. That list, he writes, includes: “[launching] the world’s most stringent green building program to reframe what was possible,” promoting equity and social justice in sustainable design, advancing discussions about beauty in high-performance buildings, stimulating corporate transparency in the production of building materials, and taking LBC to the community level.

In his next venture, McLennan Design, he will develop green projects and products and “focus primarily on two types of clients—those that have the means and influence to truly break new ground in some important way, and those who have very limited means and need deep green design more than anyone,” he wrote in the letter. The Green Warrior Society, the pro-bono arm of the practice, will donate or heavily discount design fees to nonprofit organizations with social and environmental missions.

“Over the last decade, I have missed working on projects and I have realized that this is where my passion lies,” McLennan continues in the letter. “I am ready to be more directly involved with design, to turn visions into reality, and to take what I have learned through working with hundreds of visionary projects at the Institute to the world.”

McLennan’s successor, Sturgeon, was a founding board member of the Cascadia Green Building Council—a chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council and partner of the IFLI—from 2000 to 2002. She helped pass Washington state’s first LEED legislation in 2003. Since 2010, she has worked at ILFI, first as vice president of LBC and for the past year as executive director.

“I am honored to take the role as CEO of the Institute, as one of the founders of Cascadia. The organization has been close to my heart for the last 15 years,” Sturgeon said in a press release. “Jason has gifted me with an incredible legacy to lead into the future. The next 15 years are an opportunity for us to see Living Buildings, Living Communities, and Living Products in every city around the world.”