Living Future New England promotes the Living Building Challenge and other International Living Future Institute (ILFI) programs.

Reach out to [email protected] with any inquiries, questions, or concerns.

Are you an ILFI Member? Are you interested in being part of the ILFI Regional Community, a member-only benefit? If so, be heard here!


Promote the transformation of communities throughout Boston and New England that are socially just, culturally rich, and ecologically restorative.

The Living Future Community views the built environment as part of our natural world, yet often the design decisions we make are out of balance with the natural world. In becoming more attuned to the effects of our actions, we embrace the complex interconnection between the environment we build and the environment in which we build, focusing on a holistic, systems thinking approach seeing and working in the world. The Living Future Community will bring distinct viewpoints together in one conversation, so that we can find new, mutually beneficial perspectives that address the health of the whole system rather than treating one symptom at a time.

For 2023, we’re taking a step back to look at the role humans play as one set of actors within the larger global ecosystem. We are tied to and interdependent with all the other flora, fauna (including other people), and fungi that live in the air we breathe, the soil we walk on, and the water we swim in. What is our responsibility to the living systems when our needs require the extraction, processing, and disposal of natural resources? How can we create a living future: one that is socially just, culturally rich, and ecologically restorative?

We’re not reconnecting with nature but remembering what it means to already be part of it, scientifically, culturally, and spiritually.

We are convening deep dive meetings of practitioners working on and interested in LBC projects, we host introduction sessions for LBC, LCC, and JUST, and coordinate tours of local Living Building Challenge Projects.

What is the Living Building Challenge?

The LBC, created by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI), takes the LEED rating system a step further by designing buildings that are net-energy-positive while simultaneously focusing on the wellness of the building’s occupants. LBC buildings are always aesthetically pleasing and maintain an appropriate balance between natural and human systems.

To explain further, net-energy-positive buildings are EVEN BETTER than net-zero buildings because they can literally produce more energy than they use. In almost all cases they are 100% self-sufficient and manage all waste products responsibly. An example of this could be treating wastewater on site to reduce the impact on surrounding infrastructure. Most importantly, Living Buildings provide people with a sense of community. They offer a healthier working space which in turn promotes higher production from employees.

The IFLI has 7 performance areas (called Petals) and 20 more detailed requirements (called Imperatives) by which it measures the quality of Living Buildings.

The Living Building Challenge is an investment in the future of energy security for decades to come. Skill sets in engineering, planning, designing and many other professions are needed to take these Living Buildings off the drawing board and into the real world. This holistic approach encourages widespread innovation to overcome obstacles, therefore making every building as healthy, beautiful, and efficient as possible.

Topics & Speakers

April 2023 - UN Sustainable Development Goals + A Living Future
February 2023 - Reflection + Year Ahead

For our first roundtable of the year, we would like to discuss each of our unique perspectives on our roles, actions, and effects in the ecosystems within which we work– in which aspects of the ecosystem are you most heavily involved? How does your emphasis relate to a whole systems approach? How can we see the whole systems we are working in?

Jim Newman
Principal, Linnean Solutions




DiAnn Tufts, LFA, LEED AP
PCA, Senior Associate & Director of Sustainability




Jacob Bloom, LFA
Associate, CambridgeSeven




Bob Donohue, LEED AP
enviENERGY Studio, Building Performance Analyst




Melissa Mattes, LC, LFA, LEED Green Associate, IALD
Sladen Feinstein, Senior Lighting Designer / Sustainability Specialist




Nicole Voss, LEED AP BD+C
isgenuity, Associate Principal & Director of Sustainability



December – Declare + Material data/ transparency

October – Biophilic Design + Local Wood

August – Biophilia and The Beauty Petal
The August Living Future Roundtable discussion on Biophilia and The Beauty Petal will host Julia Africa and Sonja Bochard as our featured experts.

Julia Kane Africa is an independent Biophilic Design and Landscape Research Consultant. In her current role on the Franklin Park Action Plan Team, she provides public health-related design and programming input to the consortium of 40+ landscape architects, planners, and ecologists tasked with creating a community driven action plan for the revitalization of the historic 500-acre Boston Park. Previously, Julia led the Nature and Health program at the Center for Health and the Global Environment, an academic research center at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, from 2012-2017. In this role, she explored the ways in which nature (parks and green spaces) and natural design cues (natural features in built environment settings) in urban settings support psychological and physiological health and resilience. She is a member of the Urban Land Institute’s Health Leaders Network, the Biophilic Cities Network Steering Committee, and is a contributing author to a forthcoming APA publication on climate change and mental health.


Sonja Bochart, a design leader in health and wellness, has had an extensive background in creating spaces to support individual, community, and ecological wellbeing for over twenty-five years, working nationally as a living-systems design consultant. Sonja is a recognized leader and educator in the industry, teaching at Arizona State University’s Herberger School of Design, advising on biophilia, health and wellness councils, including the International Living Future Institute, and as a board member of Green Plants for Green Buildings. As a director at Lens Strategy – Shepley Bulfinch, Sonja works as a regenerative design and development strategist fostering human ecological connection and wellbeing. Sonja is one of the foremost facilitators for living-systems community design workshops, organizational firm development- and LEED, Living Building Challenge, and Well Building Standard charrettes.

June – LBC Petal Certification: Air Quality Testing & Monitoring

April – Let’s Chat Petal Certification

February – What’s up with ILFI Core Certification

Community Stewards

Interested in supporting the Living Future New England? We would love to hear from you! Get in touch with us, and in the meantime, check out the sponsorship link at the top of our website.

Community Leadership

Jim Newman

Jim Newman


Founder and Principal at Linnean Solutions

DiAnn Tufts

DiAnn Tufts


Associate and the Director of Sustainability at PCA

Galen Nelson

Galen Nelson

Board Liaison

Chief Program Officer at MassCEC

Sarah Michelman

Sarah Michelman

Board Liaison

Prinicpal at The Green Engineer

Event Recordings: