Living Building Challenge

The USGBC-MA is working in concert with the ILFI Boston Collaborative to promote the Living Building Challenge and other similar projects throughout New England.

Mission: The Boston Collaborative promotes the transformation of communities throughout Boston and New England that are socially just, culturally rich and ecologically restorative.

Vision: We envision a thriving and diverse community working together for a living future.

Goals: We are convening deep dive meetings of practitioners working on and interested in LBC projects, we host introduction sessions for LBC, LCC, and JUST, and coordinate tours of local Living Building Challenge Projects.

What is the LBC?

The LBC, created by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI), takes the LEED rating system a step further by designing buildings that are net-energy-positive while simultaneously focusing on the wellness of the building’s occupants.  LBC buildings are always aesthetically pleasing and maintain an appropriate balance between natural and human systems.

To explain further, net-energy-positive buildings are EVEN BETTER than net-zero buildings because they can literally produce more energy than they use. In almost all cases they are 100% self-sufficient and manage all waste products responsibly. An example of this could be treating wastewater on site to reduce the impact on surrounding infrastructure. Most importantly, Living Buildings provide people with a sense of community. They offer a healthier working space which in turn promotes higher production from employees.

The IFLI has 7 performance areas (called Petals) and 20 more detailed requirements (called Imperatives) by which it measures the quality of Living Buildings.

  • The 7 Petals include:
  • Place (Location)
  • Water
  • Energy
  • Health & Happiness
  • Materials
  • Equity
  • Beauty

The Living Building Challenge is an investment in the future of energy security for decades to come. Skillsets in engineering, planning, designing and many other professions are needed to take these Living Buildings off the drawing board and into the real world. This holistic approach encourages widespread innovation to overcome obstacles, therefore making every building as healthy, beautiful, and efficient as possible.