Green building on the brain this morning… As most in the design and development professions can attest, there is a lot of discussion in the professional community about green certifications, benchmarks and standards. LEED, Built Green, Energuide… Each approach has its pros and cons. While we tend to welcome anything that gets people motivated in improving the health of their home, and the building’s impact on the Earth, we too struggle with determining which certifications and programs are best to promote to our clients.
So far, we have been champions of Built Green because the program is less onerous (and costly) and much more performance-driven than LEED. It is also arguably more appropriate to our region here in BC.
Of increasing interest to Green City Builders is the Living Building Challenge established through the International Living Future Institute. Like Built Green, the Living Building Challenge is performance-driven and not about conforming to a standardized (and potential regionally or project inappropriate) checklist/point system like LEED. It sets the bar very high by seeking building solutions with zero water, net zero energy, green listed materials only, and other site, health, equity and beauty considerations. This isn’t about just dropping in energy star rated windows and walking away. It’s about supporting urban agriculture, car free living and the pursuit of a better way of life though each and every project. A manifesto for sure – but certainly one worth taking seriously. Take a look and get inspired!