The Race to be the Greenest Building


The Living Building Challenge, run by the Cascadia Green Building Council, is growing in popularity these days.  Referred to as one of the most advanced green building rating systems in the world, it's growing, I believe, in part because of its rigor.  The Challenge is performance based, which means a project has to perform as modeled for one full year prior to receiving certification.  Currently, four projects (see below) are racing to be the first to obtain Living Building Challenge certification. 

In addition, roughly 70 other projects (in some stage of design or construction) are pursuing the Living Building Challenge

Challenge projects must generate their own energy, use no outside water, and be built with materials that do not contain any harmful chemicals.  It's a tough standard and these four projects are at the forefront of the green building movement.  Only time will tell which project actually gets certification first. 

Omega Center for Sustainable Living in Rhinebeck, New York


Tyson Living Learning Center in Eureka, Missouri


Eco-Sense Residence in Victoria, British Columbia


Hawaii Preparatory Academy Energy Lab in Kamuela, Hawaii


Photo credits: Gregory Edwards (Omega), Architizer (Tyson); Eco-Sense; and Hawaii Preparatory Academy.

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  • mike

    HI prep or the omega center. while it’s nice that residential buildings can qualify, LBC will probably be better received if institutional or commercial projects take the lead.

    plus, i’m a big fan of Buro Happold.

  • Lesley LEED AP

    LEED is now also requiring documentation of one’s energy consumption reduction. More rating systems will be moving in this way soon. It is the only way to prove that you are helping the environment and truly being green.

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