I, along with MNN business blogger Melissa Hincha-Ownby, have long sung the praises of — or at least attempted to demystify — the Living Building Challenge, a crazy-rigorous holistic green building performance standard established by the International Living Future Institute that goes way beyond the LEED point system ... way, way beyond. In fact, it was almost a year ago today that the seven-year-old Living Building Challenge took top honors — and was awarded with $100,000 “to support the development and implementation of a strategy that has significant potential to solve humanity's most pressing problems” — in the 2012 Buckminster Fuller Challenge.
Over the years, I’ve written about a handful of residential projects that have been built and/or designed to adhere to stringent LBC standards that, for starters, require buildings to be both net-zero energy and net-zero water. A couple projects that I've profiled have actually advanced to the next stage and received partial “Living” certification, or “Petal” certification if you will. Partially certified and non-certified projects that I've covered include a built-to-code cob house in British Columbia, a prototype residence in the far-flung (and super harsh) Aleutian Islands, a petite green prefab unveiled at last year’s Greenbuild conference, the multifamily zHome development in Issaquah, Wash., and, most recently, a straw bale spec home designed and built by students enrolled at Ontario’s Endeavour Centre that’s being hailed as Canada’s Greenest Home.
To be clear, only four projects to date — most likely to be five at some point next year now that the “world’s greenest commercial building,” Seattle’s Bullitt Center, is open for business — have managed to obtain full Living Building Challenge certification. None of them are residential. Really, it’s that hard to obtain.
To further help explain how to successfully tackle “the most advanced measure of sustainability in the built environment possible today," one of the several firms involved with the creation of the latest project to receive full Living Building Challenge certification, the Bertschi School Living Building Science Wing in Seattle, has created an infographic detailing the nuts and bolts of how it all works (hat tip to TreeHugger’s Lloyd Alter who apparently broke his strict “no infographics allowed” rule with sharing this one).
More specifically, the Skanska-produced infographic details how they made it work in creating the West Coast’s first Certified Living Building.And Skanska, a multinational construction firm, does an excellent job at doing it. Take a look …