Climate Action: The Living Building Challenge

A global challenge to create buildings that give more than they take


The Living Building Challenge is the world’s most rigorous proven-performance standard for buildings. Administered by the International Living Institute (ILFI), the Living Building Challenge works with people around the world who want to create healthy, efficient, ecologically restorative spaces for their communities.

Project teams hoping to meet the Living Building Challenge Standard start early in the process. The organization provides guidance at every phase of the building project, from pre-design through to the end of the 12-month performance period. Once the building is complete, project teams submit documentation to show that their building meets the Standard and an independent auditor makes a site visit. Buildings that meet the Standard can be featured on the Living Building Challenge’s website as examples of best practice.


So far, over 300 projects have registered with the Living Building Challenge, and 74 have been certified. In 2015, these projects produced 700,000 kWh of renewable energy, saved over 90 billion gallons of water, and offset 750 tons of CO2 equivalent. But perhaps the most important impact of the Living Building Challenge is on the mindsets of those in the building industry: proving that sustainable, beautiful buildings are possible.

(Photo Credit: Nic Lehoux)

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