image courtesy of DC LBCC

Last year the DC Living Building Challenge Collaborative organized a design competition for an affordable housing project in Washington DC. The competition was for 10 affordable single family homes in the historic neighborhood of Deanwood in Washington DC that are designed to meet the International Living Futures Institute’s rigorous sustainable requirements of their Living Building Challenge. Award winners will be presenting their work February 1, 2016 at Catholic University.

1st Place: The “Urban Grapevine” team was Mike Binder (Binder Regenerative Design,) Marcie Meditch (Meditch Murphey Architects,) Thomas Serra (Independent Engineering,) Lael Taylor (Meditch Murphey Architects) and Jenny Wienckowski (Rain Underground, LLC.) The project excelled in all of the Living Building Challenge v3.0 petals:  Place, Water, Energy, Health and Happiness, Material, Equity and Beauty.

2nd Place: The “Deanwood Market” team was made up of William Teass and Charles Warren (Taess Warren Architects,) Ryan Moody and Jason Reibold (Moody Landscape Architecture) and Chris French (District Homes.) This project also excelled at all of the petals, most of all energy and place.

Honorable Mention: The “Coming Together” by team 521 composed of Lindsey Falasca (Hickok Cole Architects,) Elin Zurbrigg (Mi Casa Inc,) Paul Totten (WSP in the USA,) Daniel Moring (IBC Engineering) and Apryl Webb (Skanska.) Bethany Bezak of DC Water thought this project was the most innovative in its water treatment. This project also incorporated a workplace strategy for the community.

RSVP for the event. See more from the award winners and their submissions on the DC LBCC website.



Grass Day-Use Building by M2 Architecture and Re:Vision Architecture

The Washington DC area is going to get one of its first Living Building Challenge buildings thanks to the Alice Ferguson Foundation. The environmentally focused Maryland nonprofit hired M2 Architects, Re:Vision Architects, and Andropogon to design a campus of buildings on their 330 Acres in Accokeek, Maryland across the river from Mount Vernon. The Grass Day-Use Building is the first in the phased construction and is nearly complete. It has been designed to meet the progressive ‘regulations’ of the Living Building Challenge. Only one building on the East Coast has received the Living Building Challenge certification thus far. Students from Washington DC public schools will visit the Grass Day-Use Building to learn about the environment and will participate in the Living Building Challenge by measuring the building’s performance and impact on the environment which is required for a year after construction for all Living Buildings in order to get certified.

The Alice ferguson Foundation connects people to the natural world, sustainable agricultural practices and the cultural heritage of their local watershed through education, stewardship and advocacy. 

Read more about the Living Building Challenge. See the other AFF buildings and check out the live Webcam.




Living Building Standard 3.0 from ILFI

Some refer to the Living Building Challenge as ‘beyond LEED’ because of its rigorous building performance measurements and it’s holistic interpretation of sustainability. The triple bottom line requirements include three categories for equity as well as many ambitious environmental goals, like Net Zero energy and water. If you have heard of Net Zero, it is a partial certification of the Living Building Challenge. Another unique feature for certification is that project performance is measured during the 12 months after occupancy to guarantee that all requirements have been met. The Living Building Challenge is run by the International Living Future Institute which organizes an annual conference, and at this year’s conference they released latest version of the LBC, Version 3.0.

To learn more about the Living Building Challenge 3.0, attend the COTEdc event Monday, August 4th from 5:30-8:00pm at the District Architecture Center. Or click on the image above to read about the new standards.