Have you heard of a Living Building? (No, we’re not referencing the 2006 cinematic masterpiece “Monster House.”) Think LEED Platinum Certification, but one step — or maybe a few — further.
Thanks to local organization Green Spaces, Chattanooga will get its first Living Building in the next few years. 👇
What is a Living Building?
“Living buildings look at the processes of our natural environment — how a tree filters water around it, or makes better air quality — and tries to incorporate those natural processes and standards into the construction of a building… rather than building standards that say ‘how can we do as little harm as possible,’ Living Buildings say ‘how can we do good.’” — Madison Rollings, Green Spaces director of sustainability + events
Nearby, The Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design at Georgia Tech is the 28th in the world to earn Living Building Challenge Certification. It earned this distinction, in part, because it:
- Has a photovoltaic system supplying over 200% of the building’s annual energy needs
- Is net-positive with water
- Sourced at least 50% of building materials + services within 621 miles of the site
And we’re building one?
That’s the goal. The building will serve as Green Spaces’ office as the company grows.
The end goal — besides, obviously, having a cool office space — is to create a model for how to include regenerative design practices in the area + influence health and the way we work, which is shaped by our environment.
Currently, Green Spaces is in the site selection phase — in other words, it’s still pretty early.
According to Rollings, the building will ideally be well underway with the design + construction process next year.
As for Living Building Challenge Certification, that may take a while; even after the building is complete, it will need to run for a full year before certification can be given, to ensure that it’s effective.
You can stay updated on the Living Building process via Green Spaces’ newsletter.