The Living Building Challenge
The Metaphor of the Flower
At Healthy Building Science, we are inspired by the principle that all projects should use nature as the ultimate measurement stick for performance. The Living Building Challenge uses the metaphor of the flower to illustrate this point. We strive to create buildings that:
- Interchange elements through the movement of water and air, allowing buildings to “breathe.”
- Shield occupants from the harmful effects of electricity and technology.
- Are built from natural and life-friendly materials.
- Operate efficiently, considering the resource needs of the overall system.
The Materials Petal and the Red List
The Precautionary Principle underlies the Materials Petal: in the absence of a scientific consensus that a material is conducive to life, the burden of proof falls on those who would advocate for its use.
There are 14 chemicals and materials on the Red List in the Living Building Challenge, representing over 300 chemicals and materials, when used in combination with other materials.
Eliminating these chemicals from a project is no small order, but it is a practice we undertake with all our clients. Regardless of whether a project aims to be a Living Building, we screen every material that goes into one of our healthy homes or commercial buildings with this level of detail.
Our expertise in Building Science, Building Biology, and healthy building materials can help owners strive for the Living Building Challenge, the most stringent green building standard (in the world? in the world today?).
For more information about our work with the Living Building Challenge, email [email protected]. If you are interested in learning more about the Living Building Challenge, email [email protected] to schedule a free introductory presentation to the Living Building Challenge, eligible for AIA and GBCI credit.