Monday, August 17, 2009
Living Buildings: a standard beyond green building from the great Northwest
In San Antonio the city's Mission Verde is seeking to make green building the standard. In September the USGBC Balcones chapter is bringing an expert on PasivHaus construction to speak. Meanwhile natural builders are making headway with compressed earth block construction in the Hill Country. Our own Build San Antonio Green gains recognition for its achievements.
But what about Living Buildings? This concept comes from a USGBC chapter in northwest, the Cascadia Region Green Building Council which includes Oregon, Washington State, British Columbia and Canada in its territory.
The Living Building Challenge is a program launched and operated by the Cascadia Region GBC. It is according to their website the "most advanced green building rating system in the world". It was conceived of and authored by Jason F. McLennan, CEO of Cascadia, prior to joining the organization.
Living buildings are houses and offices designed to function like living organisms, specifically adapted to place and able to treat water on site among other things. Apparently some aspects of living buildings face obstacles in building codes and the reluctance of home buyers.
Members of the International Living Building Institute can learn more about the Living Building Standards at http://ilbi.org/ . Access to information on the site is $150 for non Cascadia members.