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Living for the Future

We've talked about the Living Building Challenge (LBC) a lot over the last few months, and will likely continue to do so for a long time as it continues to grow and gain momentum in the green building industry.

For example, in August 2014, the Seattle-based International Living Future Institute (ILFI) released the Living Building Challenge 3.0, which has a greater emphasis on resilient infrastructure. It looks at the challenge as a tool for regenerative design; integrates Just, the ILFI's new social justice transparency platform and labeling program, and the Equity Exchange program; moves the neighborhood typology to the new Living Community Challenge; expands the Red List of materials and connects the ILFI's Declare label (which was discussed in last month's issue) directly to the LBC.

The new Living Community Challenge aims to help planners and developers rethink how they design their community-scale projects, providing certification at both the master planning stages as well as fully built community or campus scale projects. Meanwhile, as part of the new Equity Exchange program, project teams can allocate funds to worthwhile causes under the Habitat, Carbon and Equity offset programs.

Additionally, the ILFI will be launching the first version of its Living Product Challenge later this year. It is expected to transform the design and manufacturing of all types of products-from building materials to consumer goods-in the same way the LBC is transforming the building industry's perspective of what is possible for building performance.

All of these pieces--Living Buildings, Living Products and Living Communities--come together under the new Living Future Challenge. This framework rethinks the way humanity deigns its systems, products, buildings and communities based on the LBC and utilizes nature as the ultimate end-game metric for success. Living Food, Living Enterprises and Living Lifestyles are still to be launched.

As the LBC continues to grow and change and challenge the way we look at the buildings and products around us, we take a closer look at one of the projects that is about to start its 12-month audit to achieve Living Building Challenge certification. Starting here, we explore the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's Brock Environmental Center in Virginia Beach, Va., which is expected to be both LEED Platinum and LBC certified. The center is considered a model for energy and water efficiency and climate change resiliency.

Also this month, the 2015 Readers' Choice Awards takes a look at the 20 products that received the most interest from readers over the past year.

And if you're headed to the AIA 2015 National Convention and Design Expo, make sure to check out our preview for show information and suggested seminars to check out. While there, be sure to stop by our booth, #3577, we'd love to say hi.


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