The Living Building Challenge is widely considered to be the most stringent and progressive standard in green building, and now, it’s a real certification. As of October 4th, building projects from anywhere in the world are now free to register for Net Zero Energy Building Certification [PDF], which requires (you guessed it) buildings to achieve net zero status — and not just in theory, either.
Towards that end, buildings must have been in operation for at least 12 months and be audited by a qualified third party attesting that they produce as much energy as they consume. Buildings must also meet the guidelines of the original Living Building Challenge in displaying Limits to Growth, curbing the building’s contribution to the effects of sprawled development; Rights to Nature, ensuring that the building does not preclude another building from achieving net zero energy operation as a result of excessive shading; and Beauty + Spirit as well as Inspiration + Education, underscoring the idea that renewable energy systems can be incorporated into a building in ways that are attractive and inspiring.
“In the next two decades, we are looking at the disappearance of cheap oil, a scarcity of finite resources, the continual decay of our infrastructure and a ballooning planetary population that will compel us to adjust to new ways of building and being,” saidJason F. McLennan, CEO of the International Living Future Institute, in a statement. He goes on to note that his organization sees Net Zero Energy Building Certification as a way to galvanize and recognize widespread efforts to eliminate fossil fuel use and to conserve energy.
More information on the Net Zero Energy Building Certification is available online.