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Building Better, Living Better

Those who have worked with CHP Design Studio Project Manager Joshua Galloway almost undoubtedly know that he is passionate about green design and sustainable living and eagerly embraces opportunities to both expand and share his knowledge. Both his enthusiasm and professional expertise caught the attention of the nonprofit International Living Future Institute (ILFI), who recently selected Galloway to be an official Living Building Challenge Ambassador. As an Ambassador volunteer, Galloway joins a select group of professionals who donate their time and energy to introduce to new audiences the Living Building Challenge—an international sustainable building certification program.

Established by ILFI in 2006, the Living Building Challenge is described by its creators as a philosophy, advocacy tool, and certification program that promotes the most advanced and rigorous measurement of sustainability in the built environment. It can be applied to development at all scales, from buildings—both new construction and renovation—to infrastructure, landscapes and neighborhoods.

Living Building Challenge certification is based on actual, rather than anticipated performance. To earn Living status (full program certification), projects must meet all stringent benchmarks outlined in the Challenge and have proven performance through twelve consecutive months of operation prior to evaluation. The six projects that have achieved this level of performance claim to be the ‘greenest’ anywhere and have served as role models for others working towards certification.

To celebrate select successes and educate other projects’efforts, project teams may also earn Petal Recognition (partial program certification) by satisfying the requirements of a minimum of three categories.

As a Living Building Challenge Ambassador, Galloway helps share the program’s principles by leading in-house presentations for project stakeholders, coordinating informal community meetings and activities, and encouraging lively, thoughtful discussions both in person and online.

The Living Building Challenge has historically applied to traditional development projects. ILFI, however, has recently begun to explore a pathway for affordable housing developments to achieve recognitions or certifications. As part of its resesarch, Galloway was invited by ILFI to share with them CHP’s experiences as an affordable housing developer.

“This is a very exciting program that has set incredibly high design and building standards. There is nothing else out there quite like this,” said Galloway. “The Living Buiding Challenge is about productive buildings that produce all their own energy and process all their own waste. The point is to make things better instead of less bad. It takes sustainability and environmental responsibility to a whole new level.”