'World's greenest buildings' get seal of approval

Story highlights

  • The Living Building Challenge is a performance-based green ratings system
  • The International Living Future Institute also aims to educate people on sustainability
  • Organizers hope to change people's attitudes to the environment
A rigorous green certification system is recognizing the next phase of eco design, which its founders describe as "the world's greenest buildings."
Founded by Jason F. McLennan in 2006 through the Cascadia Green Building Council, the Living Building Challenge (LBC) is a green ratings system for design and construction that judges a building based on its actual performance, not just its projected performance at the design stage.
To date, it has recognized six buildings for their green credentials. Only three have been successful in meeting all its stringent requirements and consequently fully certified as "living."
"These are the world's greenest buildings," says McLennan. "It is a huge leap forward from conventional green construction. These buildings will never get an energy or water bill again."
Projects must be in operation for a minimum of 12 months before they become eligible to participate in the challenge and they can only achieve "living" status after fulfilling requirements in the categories of site, water, energy, health, materials, equity and beauty.
"It takes about 14-16 months to go through the certification process and we are a rigorous process so there are not that many buildings fully certified," says McLennan.
He adds: "The ones that are (certified) are game changers because they become more than a building. They create a whole community of changed people around them."
The International Living Future Institute, a non-profit that was created to take o