The idea of a Living Building, a high-performance building that produces its own power and cleans and reuses all of its water, is gaining momentum around the world. In an effort to oversee the global development of Living Buildings, the International Living Building Institute (ILBI) has been established.
The Living Building Challenge began as a program of the Cascadia Region Green Building Council just three years ago. The idea has sparked the creative juices of design professionals around the globe, with more than 60 proposed Living Buildings now in some stage of design or construction in the US and Canada. A Living Building is a radical step forward in green building and comes at a time when there is growing consensus that the time for baby steps in green building is past.
The basic concept is that a building can work like a natural system; designed and constructed to function as elegantly and efficiently as a flower. A Living Building must meet sixteen performance measures within six categories (or petals) including site, energy, materials, water, indoor quality and beauty and inspiration.
Jason F. McLennan, author of the Living Building Challenge and CEO of Cascadia, says “We have been delighted to serve as the incubator for these projects. But Cascadia is a regional organization and the Living Building Challenge has now become an international phenomenon. So, the natural and logical progression is to create an international oversight body.”
For the time being, Cascadia will continue to oversee the Living Building Challenge. However the Institute is in the process of becoming a formal 501(c) (3) non-profit and will soon have its own Board of Directors.
The International Living Building Institute was announced yesterday at Cascadia’s annual conference called Living Future. Running through May 9th in Portland, Oregon the conference is sold out with more than 600 of the most cutting-edge green builders, developers, contractors, design professionals and thought leaders from all across North America in attendance.