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What if every single act of design and construction made the world a better place? It seems a far cry from our current situation, right? Lofty thought it may seem, that’s the goal that the Living Building Challenge has been working towards with their initiative, which is much more than a certification program for sustainable buildings – it’s also a philosophy, an advocacy tool and a support network. The LBC’s goal is to define measures of sustainable architecture while providing guidance to make it easier for architects and designers to grasp what may otherwise look like idealistic benchmarks.

In order to be certified as a Living Building, a project must meet five stipulations for at least a full year. The building must: 1. generate all of its own, renewable energy on-site, 2. capture and treat all of its own water, 3. use only non-toxic and sustainably-sourced construction materials, 4. be placed on already-developed sites in order to reduce urban sprawl and 5. be beautiful and inspiring to its occupants and others.

We congratulate the Living Building Challenge on their win and hope that the $100,000 prize and the recognition of their truly innovative endeavors leads to even more structures becoming Living Buildings that protect and improve the environment around them. To learn more about the Living Building Challenge and the other esteemed finalists of this year’s Buckminster Fuller Challenge, visit their website here.

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