LBC 3.0

The Living Building Challenge (LBC), a program of the International Living Future Institute, is a philosophy, advocacy tool, and certification program that addresses development at all scales.

The core underlying principle of the Living Building Challenge is that buildings should mimic nature and natural systems—and the Challenge uses the metaphor of the flower to illustrate this principle. Like a flower, all elements of the built environment are rooted in place. Unlike typical buildings, a flower has place-based solutions to meet all of its needs and to maintain balance with its surroundings.

So, imagine a building that is informed by its eco-region’s characteristics. A building that generates energy with renewable resources, captures and treats water, operates efficiently and as part of a larger community; a building that acts as feedstock for new developments at the end of its life;

and is beautiful….

Why a challenge?
The Living Building Challenge uses the metaphor of a flower to approach both the left and right half of the brain: the rational and the instinctive. In short: a challenge to inspire, stirring the pot and pulling the market forward.

The core framework of the Challenge is its arrangement into seven primary categories, known as Petals, drawing further from the metaphor of the flower. Those of you knowledgeable about green building see some familiar topics, like energy or materials. But the LBC aims to be as holistic as possible, addressing things like happiness, equity, and beauty. These petals all interact with each other.

The 7 petals

The 7 petals

Each petal is then broken into one or more sub-petals, which are known as Imperatives, in total there are twenty. These Imperatives address specific topics related to each Petal, and they also set forth specific requirements for each Petal. In short, they define in detail what is needed to design and realize a Living Building.

The Living Building Challenge certification is also based on actual performance instead of modeled outcomes. For example, documentation requirements include utility bills—not energy models. Projects must be fully operational for at least twelve consecutive months prior to audit. This is a unique aspect of the LBC, to ensure that certified buildings perform as promised.

Aa ambassador of The Living Building Challenge, Van den Hurk Architecten gives also more in-depth lectures. If you are interested, do not hesitate to contact us. Click here for the Google Maps overview of all ambassadors in the world.