In part one of our series, our Greensboro construction law lawyers discussed the importance of green construction and introduced you to The Living Building Challenge (LBC). In this last section, we will focus on the types of buildings that can be built and the program’s seven standards.
What Kinds of Buildings Can be Built?
The LBC promotes the highest standard of sustainability for built environments and includes a series of performance goals that empower project teams to explore creative design solutions. The program works with people around the world including engineers, architects, and developers to create healthy, efficient, ecologically restorative spaces for their community. Projects include commercial, institutional, educational, and single-family homes.
LBC’s mission is to ensure that built structures have a minimal impact on the environment. The program’s ideal built environment should function as a flower. The flower symbolizes a structure that functions cleanly and efficiently. The program’s standards are comprised of seven performance areas, referred to as petals, which are then subdivided into 20 imperatives that change depending on the type of project.
Place: Focuses where to build, how to protect and restore the area after development, and how to encourage the creation of communities that encourage pedestrian activity.
Water: Realigns how people use water and redefines waste in the built environment (net-zero water facilities and the use of stormwater onsite).
Energy: Requires all buildings to rely solely on renewable forms of energy and operate year round in a pollution-free manner (net-zero energy).
Health & Happiness: Creating strong spaces that encourage a highly productive indoor environment.
Materials: Requires the use of non-toxic, transparent, socially equitable materials.
Equity: Strives to create communities with equitable access to all people regardless of age, physical abilities, or status.
Beauty: Buildings are designed with aesthetically pleasing designs to elevate our spirits.
The LBC is known as the most ambitious of green building certifications. Standards are set at the highest standards conceivable. Every project must meet 20 requirements to achieve certification. LBC certification is based on actual performance, and projects are monitored for 12 months before certification is granted. A list of zero energy projects can be found at Newbuildings.org.
Are You Up for the Challenge?
The LBC can help any company make great strides in their sustainability journey. Architects, engineers, designers, developers, and others can take part in building structures that are proven sustainable based on third-party auditors and earn recognition for structures that are among the healthiest and most efficient in the world. Participation in the LBC means that you are investing in the future as you build structures that are resilient and provide energy security for decades to come.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.