Living Building Challenge: Architecture that makes the world a better place

Part of the excitement about the Sunset Substation Park is the goal for sustainable architecture that we've set:  meeting the Living Building Challenge: From the International Living Building Institute:

"Living Building Challenge 2.0 is a cohesive standard – pulling together the most progressive thinking from the worlds of architecture, engineering, planning, landscape design and policy.

It challenges us to ask the question: What if every single act of design and construction made the world a better place?

What if every intervention resulted in greater biodiversity; increased soil health; additional outlets for beauty and personal expression; a deeper understanding of climate, culture and place; a realignment of our food and transportation systems; and a more profound sense of what it means to be a citizen of a planet where resources and opportunities are provided fairly and equitably?

Indeed, “Living Building Challenge” is not a merely a noun that defines the character of a particular solution for development, but more relevant if classified as a series of verbs – calls for action that describe not only the ‘building’ of all of humanity’s longest lasting artifacts, but also of the relationships and broader sense of community and connectivity they engender. It is a challenge to immerse ourselves in such a pursuit - and many refer to the ability to do so as a “paradigm shift”.

The Living Building Challenge is comprised of seven performance areas, or ‘Petals’: Site, Water, Energy, Health, Materials, Equity and Beauty. Petals are subdivided into a total of twenty Imperatives, each of which focuses on a specific sphere of influence. "

This is a relatively new standard, one-upping LEED standards, to think more holistically and less prescriptively about the impacts our buildings have on the greater environment.  I encourage all to check out their website and find out more about this program.  There is a broad overview of the Challenge, but the nitty gritty technical requirements are behind a paid registration firewall.

As we go through it, I'll be posting more information about our experience and the techniques that we're going to employ to meet the Challenge.