What if every single act of design and construction made the world a better place?
LBC 4.0 focuses on the relationship between impact and effort. While LBC 4.0 continues the standard’s mission of visionary, but attainable building goals, it also recognizes that not all projects face the same challenges or share in the same opportunities. Regenerative design should be attainable to everyone, everywhere. With 4.0, we are creating a streamlined approach focused on maximizing positive impacts specific to the place, community, and culture of the project.
The LIVING BUILDING CHALLENGE is an ever-evolving program shaped by the incredible experiences of our project teams as they continually break new ground. Over time, feedback from a diverse array of stakeholders actively using the challenge helps us understand how to refine and improve the program to have the greatest impacts.
Institute staff are also monitoring changes in the field and the market, and making adjustments to the program as needed to reflect current realities and opportunities. We also strive to keep raising the bar as we learn together, moving our projects closer still to the goal of a regenerative living future.
The internal logic of the Living Building Challenge is based on pragmatic, tested experience with what has already been built in the marketplace. Each new Living Building adds further weight to the evidence that a world of Living Buildings is possible now.
Because this Standard is continuously informed by the work that project teams are doing on the ground, Petal Handbooks clarify and consolidate the rules at a set point in time to provide a unified reference for project teams. The Dialogue (see page 76) provides an online platform for project teams to request further clarifications and new exceptions and search for articles by topic. A glossary of critical program definitions is provided on page 84.
The Living Building Challenge does not dwell on basic best-practice issues, so it can instead focus on critical high-level goals. It is assumed that to achieve this aspirational standard, typical best practices are already being met and championed by the team’s expert consultants. The implementation of this Standard requires leading-edge technical knowledge, an integrated design approach, and design and construction teams well versed in advanced practices related to green building.
Regional solutions are manifested in all Living Building Challenge projects due to a number of variables, including climate factors, building characteristics and community context. For example, becoming water-independent in the desert demands the evolution of a project’s design to emulate a cactus instead of a tree. The built environment will be richer, and the stress on our resources will lessen as more and more projects have this focus on an appropriate response to place.
TWO PRINCIPLES OF THE LIVING BUILDING CHALLENGE:
- Living Building Challenge compliance is based on actual, rather than modeled or anticipated, performance. Therefore, projects must be operational for at least twelve consecutive months prior to audit to verify Imperative compliance.
- All Living Building Challenge projects must be holistic—addressing aspects of all seven Petals through the Core Imperatives.
STRUCTURE + APPLICABILITY
THE LIVING BUILDING CHALLENGE CONSISTS OF SEVEN PERFORMANCE CATEGORIES, OR “PETALS”: PLACE, WATER, ENERGY, HEALTH + HAPPINESS, MATERIALS, EQUITY AND BEAUTY.
Each Petal is subdivided into Imperatives, for a total of twenty Imperatives in the Challenge. The Imperatives can be applied to almost every conceivable building project, of any scale and any location—be it a new building or an existing structure.
Many of the Imperatives have temporary exceptions to acknowledge current market limitations. These are listed in the Petal Handbooks, which should be consulted for the most up-to-date rulings. Temporary exceptions will be modified or removed as the market changes. With this Standard, the Institute requires advocacy for essential improvements to the building industry.
The Living Building Challenge is versatile and applies to different project scopes, or Typologies. There are four Typologies, and teams must identify the one that aligns with the project’s scope to determine which Imperatives apply.
- NEW BUILDING: This Typology is for any project that encompasses the construction of a new building.
- EXISTING BUILDING: This Typology is for any project that alters either the envelope or the major systems of a building.
- INTERIOR: This Typology is for any project that does not alter either the envelope or the major systems of a building.
- LANDSCAPE OR INFRASTRUCTURE: This typology is for any project that does not include an enclosed structure as part of its primary program. Projects may be parks, roads, bridges, plazas, sports facilities, or trails.