Living Building Challenge

PrintLiving Building Challenge (LBC) asks the question, “What if every single act of design and construction made the world a better place?”

LBC demands regenerative design solutions – building projects that go beyond simply reducing harm and, instead, actually improve the local environment. LBC projects provide the strongest commitment to the environment because they account for all negative environmental externalities (air, water, habitat quality; human health & happiness, the ability of future generations to live a healthy life and meet their own needs).

Regenerative design principles, when applied to a project, can yield enormous benefits, in terms of life cycle cost, worker happiness, community goodwill, and brand value (not to mention front line ecological benefit).

A Living Building Challenge project requires integrative teamwork and a clear understanding of occupant behavior and resource consumption. IES provides consulting on all aspects of LBC, including healthy building material research, planning for net zero energy and water use, and preparation of required documentation for certification.

Our LBC Projects:

Class of 1966 Environmental Center, Williams College, Williamstown MA

This 9,500-square-foot building on a 1.1 acre site, housing the Center for Environmental Studies and the Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives for Williams College, achieved LBC Petal Certification.

Shutters On_sm

Architect  Black River Design Architects
Civil Engineer  Guntlow & Associates
Landscape Designer Wagner Hodgson

IES managed all imperatives of the Living Building Challenge, and prepared the project documentation. We worked closely with the design team, as well as the College’s facilities and sustainability team. The project successfully completed all the requirements for these six petals: Site, Water, Materials, Equity, Beauty & Health.

R.W. Kern Center, Hampshire College, Amherst MA

17,000 sf building on a 2.3 acre site will house the new Admissions Office and Welcome Center for Hampshire College.

Architect  Bruner/Cott & Associates, Inc.
Civil Engineer  The Berkshire Design Group
Landscape Designer Richard Burck & Associates

IES managed all imperatives of the Materials Petals. This building is open and currently in its performance period.

Hitchcock Center for the Environment, Amherst MA

This 9,000 sf building is the new home for the Hitchcock Center for the Environment. This building houses live and interpretive exhibits, indoor and outdoor learning spaces and demonstration gardens.

Jessica Schultz / Hitchcock Center

Architect designLAB architects, inc. 
Civil Engineer The Berkshire Design Group
Landscape Designer Stephen Stimson Associates

IES managed product and material vetting for this project. This building is open and currently in its performance period.


Lloyd Center for the Environment, Dartmouth MA

New 2,000 sf welcome center to an 82 acre coastal preserve on the coast of Massacusetts. Living Building Challenge v3.0 target, with expected net zero energy and water use. The new Lloyd Welcome Center will educate and inspire visitors about its coastal forest preserve surroundings.


The Welcome Center is a simple, small building providing necessary toilet, handwashing and bus drop-off facilities for the expanding programs of the Center.

Architecture & Landscape Studio 2 Sustain
Civil Engineer The Berkshire Design Group

IES has consulted on all imperatives of the Living Building Challenge, and manages the Material Petal imperatives.

Yale Divinity School Campus, New Haven CT

Study to outline the potential for a new residential complex to serve as a model for environmental stewardship. 127,000 gross square foot, 7.5 acre, residential village. This project raises the bar for environmental performance of university housing. This Regenerative Village will serve as a call to action for people to apply principles of ecotheology in their own communities and places of worship, creating a ripple effect of positive change.

This Regenerative village will serve as a call to action for people to apply principles of ecotheology in their own communities and places of worship, creating a ripple effect of positive change

Architect  Bruner/Cott Architects and Planners & McLennan Design
Civil Engineer  Nitsch Engineering
Landscape Designer Andropogon