Bucky Fuller's lifelong goal was to make the world happy and healthy for 100% of its inhabitants without creating undue ecological harm, which is why it comes as no surprise that the Living Building Challenge is one of two finalists in this year's Buckminster Fuller Challenge. This is the second time the team has been honored with this recognition. The LBC is the absolute highest ecological standard that a building can possibly achieve, and program has taken huge strides since it participated in the 2010 competition as it officially certified the world's first living buildings.
LBC has five imperatives, each of which has to be met and maintained for a full 12 months before a building can be certified as “living.” Those imperatives are as follows: a building has to generate all of its own, renewable energy on-site; a living building has to capture and treat all of its own water; only non-toxic and sustainably-sourced construction materials may be used; buildings have to be placed on already-developed sites in order to reduce urban sprawl; and finally, a living building must be beautiful and inspiring to its occupants and others.
Originally launched in 2006, LBC has grown in influence since it was a BFI finalist in 2010. Since then buildings have successfully attained the initiative’s stringent standards, which demonstrates not only that it is possible to do so but also practical. Now buildings all around the world are being built in accordance with these guidelines, including single-family homes, blocks, neighborhoods, campuses and even city water projects.
Designed to become completely and harmoniously integrated with its ecosystem, LBC-certified projects are exactly what Bucky dreamed of. Competition is stiff, but we’ll know more on June 6th when the Buckminster Fuller Institute announces the winner of this year’s competition.