Living Building Challenge

Living Building ChallengeThe Living Building Challenge (LBC), administered by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI), is a philosophy, advocacy platform, and certification program that promotes a high standard for buildings.

LBC invites project teams to use restorative and holistic approaches throughout their buildings.  Such strategies seek to conquer environmental, social, and economic problems within our built environment.

Beyond requiring achievement of petal imperatives, this certification promotes a variety of regional solutions that embrace a visionary path to a restorative future.

The goal of the Living Building Challenge is to achieve the most advanced measure of sustainability in the built environment possible today and diminish the gap between current limitations and ideal solutions.

Living Building Challenge Petals

The Challenge consists of seven “petal” performance areas:

Living Building Challenge Petals

These petals inspire a holistic building method within an industry that is bound for change.  They are comprised of 20 imperatives to guide projects into the realm of sustainability.  LBC is performance-based and, therefore, its outcomes are indicators of success. Projects can pursue full Living certification but can also pursue Petal certification or Core, ILFI’s simpler framework.

ILFI, which (as mentioned above) implements LBC, encourages the creation of living buildings, sites, and communities in countries around the world, while educating and motivating a global audience regarding the need for fundamental and transformative change.

The Pittsburgh region is home to a few fully certified Living Buildings. Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens achieved Living Building Challenge for its Center for Sustainable Landscapes, and is pursuing it for other buildings on the campus as well. Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy’s Frick Environmental Center has also achieved Living Building Challenge. Green Building Alliance also facilitates the Pittsburgh Living Future Collaborative, a group of professionals that support and encourage each other in pursuit of the Living Building Challenge and other ILFI programs.

To find out more about this certification and other programs of ILFI, visit the LBC website, which includes:

  • Building case studies
  • LBC news and events
  • Details on how to pursue the certification
  • Information about how to become an ambassador for this standard