By Grey Lee, Executive Director

The Living Building Challenge (LBC) raises the bar on the level of sustainability pursued in green building projects.


The Chapter hosted a presentation on the LBC by Shawn Hesse of emersionDESIGN. Shawn is a Living Building Challenge Ambassador and member of the Cambridge Net Zero Taskforce. He is also a loyal member of the USGBC MA Chapter.  Thank you to Shawn for presenting and to Laur Fisher for organizing the event that was held at the MIT Center for Collaborative Intelligence in Kendall Sq. Cambridge!

About 25 people came out to hear the in-depth introduction to the challenge. A considerable amount of contingent came from Harvard University.  Could there be something in the works? Maybe, as an organization, we can support a friendly little contest between a few of the campuses around here! There is already a Living Building coming together at Williams College in Berkshire County. Others came from architecture practices, the City of Boston, the State of MA, and other institutions. Thank you to all who could make it, even with the “snow emergency” bells ringing!

The Living Building Challenge is a philosophy, advocacy tool and certification program that addresses development at all scales. A one hour introduction by Shawn reviewed the seven performance areas, the certification process, and reviewed project examples. What if every single act of design and construction made the world a better place? It is really an inspirational system.

The USGBC MA Chapter looks forward to working with the LBC community to facilitate greater adoption of the principles of the Living Building Challenge into our industry. Let us know if you are interested in learning more and/or advocating for more Living Buildings!


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