Living Building Challenge Defines the Most Advanced Measures of Sustainability

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LBC The Living Building Challenge is a certification program that defines the most advanced measure of sustainability in the built environment and acts to diminish the gap between current limits and ideal solutions. Projects that achieve this level of performance can claim to be the ‘greenest’ anywhere and will serve as role models for future construction. The Challenge is comprised of seven performance areas, or “Petals” – Materials, Site, Water, Energy, Health, Equity, and Beauty. The Petals are then subdivided into a total of twenty Imperatives, each of which focuses on a specific sphere of influence.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Brock Environmental Center at Pleasure House Point in Virginia Beach will be the first LEED Platinum and Living Building Challenge (LBC) certified project in Virginia. For the next several weeks we will focus on the requirements for an individual Petal and examine the specific initiatives we are working on to achieve our goals with the Environmental Center.

Sustainable Materials

PetalsThroughout their lifecycle, many traditional building materials are responsible for adverse environmental issues including illness, pollution, and resource depletion. The Living Building Challenge envisions a future where all materials in the built environment are replenishable and have no negative impact on human and environmental health. The intent of the Materials Petal is to introduce successful materials that are non-toxic, transparent and socially equitable into the building process.

Effective due diligence is vital to achieving the certification requirements for materials. With the guidance of the Materials Petal standards, Hourigan Construction has to date identified and collected the following materials for incorporation into the design and construction of the Environmental Center:

1.      Wood doors

2.      Interior wood trim for base, windows and doors

3.      Wall-mounted sinks

4.      Mop sinks

5.      Wall-mounted mirrors

6.     Soap dispensers

7.     Grab bars

8.     Toilet paper dispensers

9.     Fire Extinguisher cabinets

10.   Ceramic Tile

Currently, our experienced team is sourcing a few remaining salvaged materials, including wood flooring, cedar siding, casework, solid surface tops and lockers.

At Hourigan we not only build the physical environment, we also build paths of sustainability for future generations. We are keenly aware that environmental consciousness is critical to achieving success for our clients, our communities and ourselves.

Check back soon for a review of the next Living Building Challenge Petal—Site.


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