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1st Living Building Challenge Collaborative Formed in Florida

Posted in Blog on Tuesday, March 25th, 2014 at 9:23 am No Comments
1st Living Building Challenge Collaborative Formed in Florida

Living Building Challenge Mission

To encourage the creation of Living Buildings, Landscapes and Neighborhoods in countries around the world while inspiring, educating and motivating a global audience about the need for fundamental and transformative change.

Its official!

The first Living Building Collaborative (LBC) in Florida has been formed. The current range of this collaborative will be the entire state of Florida. Comprised of individuals based in North and South Florida we have a lot of area (and potential) to cover.

Living Building Challenge Collaboratives are community-based, in-person groups of Ambassadors that come together for informal learning experiences and to advance community transformation. Collaborative members create the local conditions that support development of Living Buildings, Landscapes and Neighborhoods.

The broad goals of a collaborative are;

  • Investigate the principles of the Living Building Challenge.
  • Understand the seven Petals and twenty Imperatives.
  • Contribute knowledge to help implement these principles on local projects and inform the evolution of the Living Building Challenge itself.
  • Undertake local actions relevant to the principles of restorative building.

One of the initial efforts of the Florida Living Building Collaborative will be to identify the challenges to implementing a Living Building in our unique climate. While there are various bioregions represented in the state of Florida we all share the characteristics of a sub-tropical climate; heat, humidity and considerable amounts of rain.
Petals that will be some of the more challenging (and fulfilling) for a project in Florida to become certified under the Living Building standard include;

07 Net Zero

One hundred percent of the project’s energy needs must be supplied by on-site renewable energy on a net annual basis.

HVAC loads for air conditioning in Florida are very high. Possible approaches to reducing associated energy loads include lifestyle changes by the inhabitants, utilizing a highly insulated and sealed building envelope, as well as encouraging the principles of natural ventilation at certain times of the year through the design of the building.

01 Limits to Growth

The project may only be constructed on previously developed sites, greyfields and/or brownfields that are not classified as any of the following:

  •  sensitive ecological habitats such as:
  •  wetlands: maintain at least 15 meters, and up to 70 meters of separation
  •  primary dunes: maintain at least 40 meters of separation
  •  old-growth forest: maintain at least 60 meters of separation 
  •  native prairie: maintain at least 30 meters of separation
  •  prime farmland
  • within the 100-year flood plain

This will limit the location of any potential LBC project and should be taken into consideration during pre-design planning.

08 Civilized Environment

Every occupiable interior space of the project must have operable windows that provide access to fresh air and daylight.

Most multifamily and commercial buildings currently utilize non operable windows in Florida.

11 Red List

The project cannot contain any of the Red List materials or chemicals (see reference guide).
An informed and comprehensive set of specifications will need to be written for the project.

16 Human scale and humane places

The project must be designed to create human-scaled rather than automobile-scaled places, so that the experience brings out the best in humanity and promotes culture and interaction. In context of the character of each Transect, there are specific maximum (and sometimes minimum) requirements for paved areas, street and block design, building scale and signage that contribute to livable places.

During the design charette and pre planning an informed site plan would need to be developed that takes into consideration the planning principles of the surrounding area and will need to be incorporated into the CD’s.
While some recognize that the building industry has a long way to go to embrace a green building standard this rigorous, LBC offers a necessary concept in any practice; a goal.
The Living Building Challenge is working to define the most advanced measure of sustainability in the built environment possible today and to diminish the gap between current limits and ideal solutions.

Ambassadors are currently available to present for your event, organization or company on the Living Building Challenge.

If you would like to become part of the collaborative become an Ambassador, you can contact The Spinnaker Group at 954-347-0967 or email Trevor Schatz at Trevor@thespinnakergroupinc.com