ItΓÇÖs Alive! The Living Building Movement
What do you think of when you hear the word ΓÇÿbuildingΓÇÖ? Environmental enthusiasts are attempting to transform the static man-made ant farms weΓÇÖve always known into living, breathing structures that help instead of hinder the planet we live on.
ItΓÇÖs called the Living Building Challenge (LBC), established through the Cascadia Green Building Council by Jason McLennan and now run by the International Living Future Institute.
With the LBC, buildings around the world compete for arguably the greenest of green credentials out there.
Six bodies have been recognised by the LBC since 2009 ΓÇô but only three buildings are considered to be ΓÇÿlivingΓÇÖ buildings.
To become a ΓÇÿlivingΓÇÖ building, a property must apply after one calendar year of being green and then go through a rigorous screening process that takes months. Throughout this audit, experts examine the design and construction of the building, as well as their daily running practices, such as energy and water consumption.
All forms of consumption in a building must be close to or at zero to be deemed alive ΓÇô making it completely self-sufficient in producing and maintaining itself. To give you an idea, the average living building is made of wood, temperature and light is controlled by opening windows, a waste system is operated via compost and those inside get around on foot.
LBC judges describe the challenge as a successful demonstration of ΓÇ£how humans and their built environment can be harmoniously, benignly integrated within ecosystems.
ΓÇ£Above all, its rigorous standards and daringly innovative, revolutionary approach to building are already having a considerable impact on the thinking of designers and architects around the world, influencing all levels of design and technological approaches, radically pushing forward the field.ΓÇ¥
The LBC operates worldwide in several countries and is looking to expand still further into new territories ΓÇô although the UK is not yet on the list.
Is a living building a step too far or is this the future we should all be working towards? Share your thoughts in the comments.