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Article | June 4, 2019

Living Future 2019: Collaboration + Abundance

BCCI’s Sustainability team recently attended the International Living Future Institute’s (ILFI) Living Future unConference for our sixth year in Seattle, Washington. The conference theme Collaboration…

The ILFI truly “believes regenerative design can only happen when all voices are brought to the table,” and we are embracing this in our relationships and company. Two initiatives we’re passionate about include:

Make your company JUST

BCCI is committed to ILFI’s JUST label, a social justice program that we obtained in 2014 and recently recertified in 2019. JUST allows companies to publicly disclose, benchmark and optimize their performance in terms of equity and justice. Transparent policies help enhance employee engagement and can lead to improved retention rates and employees’ sense of belonging. JUST 2.0 was launched at the conference, and will be a requirement in the Inclusion imperative of the Living Building Challenge (LBC). BCCI is passionate about engaging with JUST in the marketplace. Learn more about our journey here and check out our ILFI JUST Case Study highlight here.

Accelerating the LBC

While Living Building Challenge (LBC) is becoming an industry standard for high-performing, intentionally designed buildings, there are only a handful of projects in major metropolitan areas. Accelerator programs are filling the gaps to connect policy makers, the AEC industry and ILFI Collaborative members in providing resources for LBC. While robust programs that cover certification costs and provide tools in expertise exist in King County, Washington and Sacramento, California, the Bay Area has yet to catch up. BCCI’s sustainability team is involved in the San Francisco Bay Area Collaborative, which is exploring ways to begin an accelerator program in the region. By providing the initial funding and expertise to begin, we believe that we could drastically increase registered LBC projects in the Bay Area. Through our involvement, we can not only stay ahead of client demand, but also of the green building regulatory atmosphere that is taking cues from the Living Building Challenge. For example, San Francisco’s Mayor London Breed committed the City to four key policy pledges, one of which is net zero energy. We will continue to watch how embodied carbon and deconstruction evolve in the regulatory pipeline.

Our team committed to staying abreast of LBC’s growth in standards and project types. We’re excited to spread the message and inspire our clients and stakeholders. As the Bay Area Collaborative discusses a regional accelerator program, we’ll be here in action and support.

The International Living Future Institute is part nonprofit, part think-tank and part regenerative design framework. The institute’s most prominent rating system, the Living Building Challenge (LBC), has congruent aspirations to other systems. Like LEED, LBC strives to reduce our impact on the environment by encouraging commissioning and efficient water fixtures. Parallel to WELL, LBC underlines the importance of human health in facilitating healthy lifestyle choices and less toxic material selection.

The ILFI and LBC, however, move past LEED and WELL in beckoning a paradigm shift in how we consider green building. Instead of innovating within established norms, the breakouts, keynotes and networking sessions at Living Future were oriented around building in ecologically and socially restorative ways. The ILFI is interested in how structures can enhance and restore systems in communities, whether it involves water cycles, embodied carbon in materials, urban agriculture or energy storage. The LBC’s framework allows designers, architects, and contractors to step outside of the box.

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