Projects may only be built on greyfields or brownfields: previously developed sites that are not classified as on or adjacent to any of the following sensitive ecological habitats:
A. Wetlands: maintain at least 15 meters, and up to 70 meters of separation
B. Primary Dunes: maintain at least 40 meters of separation
C. Old Growth Forest: maintain at least 60 meters of separation
D. Virgin Prairie: maintain at least 30 meters of separationE. Prime Farmland
F. Within the 100 year flood plain
Project teams must document site conditions prior to the start of work. On-site landscape must be designed so that as it matures and evolves it increasingly emulates the functionality of indigenous ecosystems with regard to density, biodiversity, plant succession, water use, and nutrient needs. It shall also provide wildlife and avian habitat appropriate to the project’s transect through the use of native and naturalized plants and topsoil. No petrochemical fertilizers or pesticides can be used for the operation and maintenance of the on-site landscape.
The project must integrate opportunities for agriculture appropriate to its scale and density using the Floor Area Ratio (FAR) as a basis for calculation. The table below outlines the mandatory agricultural requirements for all projects. Single-family homes must also demonstrate the capacity to store at least a two-week supply of food.
Project FAR Minimum Percent Required
<0.05 80% 0.05-0.09
30% 0.5-0.74 25%
20% 1.0-1.49 15% 1.5-1.99
03 Habitat Exchange
For each hectare of development, an equal amount of land away from the project site must be set aside in perpetuity through the Institute’s Living Future Habitat Exchange Program or an approved Land Trust organization. The minimum offset amount is 0.4 hectare.
Each new project should contribute toward the creation of walkable, pedestrian oriented communities and must not lower the density of the existing site. Teams must evaluate the potential for a project to enhance the ability of a community to support a human powered lifestyle, and provide a mobility plan that addresses the interior and exterior of the project and demonstrates at a minimum the following:
ALL PROJECTS (EXCEPT SINGLE FAMILY HOMES):
- Secure, weather protected storage for human powered vehicles that provide facilities to encourage biking.
- Consideration and enhancement of pedestrian routes, including weather protection on street frontages.
- Promotion of the use of stairs over elevators through interior layout and quality of stairways.
- Advocacy in the community to facilitate the uptake of human powered transportation.
PROJECTS IN TRANSECTS L4-L6 MUST ALSO PROVIDE:
- A transit subsidy for all occupants of the building (if owner occupied) or a requirement for tenant employers to provide such a subsidy.
- Showers and changing facilities that can be accessed by all occupants of the building.
- At least one electric vehicle charging station.
SINGLE FAMILY HOMES (ALL TRANSECTS):
An assessment of how the residents can reduce their transportation impact through car sharing, use of public transportation, alternative fueled vehicles, or bicycles is required.
Project water use and release must work in harmony with the natural water flows of the site and its surroundings. One hundred percent of the project’s water needs must be supplied by captured precipitation or other natural closed loop water systems, and/or by re-cycling used project water, and must be purified as needed without the use of chemicals.
All stormwater and water discharge, including grey and black water, must be treated onsite and managed either through re-use, a closed loop system, or infiltration. Excess stormwater can be released onto adjacent sites under certain conditions.
One hundred and five percent of the project’s energy needs must be supplied by on-site renewable energy on a net annual basis, without the use of on-site combustion. Projects must provide on-site energy storage for resiliency.
Every regularly occupied space must have operable windows that provide access to fresh air and daylight.
To promote good indoor air quality, a project must create a Healthy Interior Environment Plan that explains how the project will achieve an exemplary interior environment including the following:
- Compliance with the current version of ASHRAE 62, or international equivalent
- Smoking must be prohibited within the project boundary
- Results from an Indoor Air Quality test before and nine months after occupancy
- Compliance with the CDPH Standard Method v1.1-2010 (or international equivalent) for all interior building products that have the potential to emit Volatile Organic Compounds
- Dedicated exhaust systems for kitchens, bathrooms, and janitorial areas
- An entry approach that reduces particulates tracked in through shoes
- An outline of a cleaning protocol that uses cleaning products that comply with the EPA Design for the Environment label (or international equivalent)
The project must be designed to include elements that nurture the innate human/nature connection. Each project team must engage in a minimum of one all-day exploration of the biophilic design potential for the project. The exploration must result in a biophilic framework and plan for the project that outlines the following:
- How the project will be transformed by deliberately incorporating nature through Environmental features, Light and Space, and Natural shapes and forms
- How the project will be transformed by deliberately incorporating nature's patterns through Natural Patterns and Processes and Evolved Human-Nature Relationships
- How the project will be uniquely connected to the place, climate and culture through Place-based Relationships.
- The provision of sufficient and frequent human-nature interactions in both the interior and exterior of the project to connect the majority of occupants with nature directly.
The plan must contain methods for tracking biophilia at each design phase. The plan should include historical, cultural, ecological, and climatic studies that thoroughly examine the site and context for the project.
The project cannot contain any of the following Red List materials or chemicals:
- Bisphenol A (BPA)
- Chlorinated Polyethylene and Chlorosulfonated Polyethylene
- Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs)
- Chloroprene (Neoprene)
- Chromium VI
- Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride (CPVC)
- Formaldehyde (added)
- Halogenated Flame Retardants (HFRs)
- Lead (added)
- Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)
- Perfluorinated Compounds (PFCs)
- Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
- Polyvinylidene Chloride (PVDC)
- Short Chain Chlorinated Paraffins
- Wood treatments containing Creosote, Arsenic or Pentachlorophenol
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in wet applied products
There are temporary exceptions for numerous Red List items due to current limitations in the materials economy. Refer to the Materials Petal Handbook for complete and up-to-date listings.
The project must account for the total embodied carbon (tCO2e) impact from its construction through a one-time carbon offset in the Institute's new Living Future Carbon Exchange or an approved carbon offset provider.
The project must advocate for the creation and adoption of third-party certified standards for sustainable resource extraction and fair labor practices. Applicable raw materials include stone and rock, metal, minerals, and timber.
For timber, all wood must be certified to Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) 100% labeling standards, from salvaged sources, or from the intentional harvest of timber onsite for the purpose of clearing the area for construction or restoring/maintaining the continued ecological function of the onsite bio-network.
All projects must use, at a minimum, one Declare product for every 500 square meters of gross building area and must send Declare program information to at least 10 manufacturers not currently using Declare.
The project must incorporate place-based solutions and contribute to the expansion of a regional economy rooted in sustainable practices, products and services.
Manufacturer location for materials and services must adhere to the following restrictions:
- 20% or more of materials construction budget must come from within 500 km of construction site.
- An additional 30% of materials construction budget must come from within 1000 km of the construction site or closer.
- An additional 25% of materials construction budget must come from within 5000 km of the construction site.
- 25% of materials may be sourced from any location.
- Consultants must come from within 2500 km of the project location.
The project team must strive to reduce or eliminate the production of waste during design, construction, operation and end of life in order to conserve natural resources and to find ways to integrate waste back into either an industrial loop or natural nutrient loop.
All projects must feature at least one salvaged material per 500 square meters of gross building area or be an adaptive reuse of an existing structure.
The project team must create a Material Conservation Management Plan that explains how the project optimizes materials in each of the following phases:
- Design Phase, including the consideration of appropriate durability in product specification
- Construction Phase, including product optimization and collection of wasted materials
- Operation Phase, including a collection plan for consumables and durables
- End of Life Phase, including a plan for adaptable reuse and deconstruction.
During construction, the project team must divert wasted material to the following levels:
Material Minimum Diverted/Weight
Paper and Cardboard
Soil and Biomass
Rigid foam, Carpet and Insulation
95% All others - combined weighted average
For all project types, there must be dedicated infrastructure for the collection of recyclables and compostable food scraps.
A project that is located on a site with existing infrastructure must complete a pre-building audit that inventories available materials and assemblies for reuse or donation.
The project must be designed to create human-scaled rather than automobile-scaled places, so that the experience brings out the best in humanity and promotes culture and interaction. In context of the character of each Transect, there are specific maximum (and sometimes minimum) requirements for paved areas, street and block design, building scale and signage that contribute to livable places.
All primary transportation, roads and non-building infrastructure that are considered externally focused must be equally accessible to all members of the public regardless of background, age and socioeconomic class - including the homeless - with reasonable steps taken to ensure that all people can benefit from the project's creation.
For any project (except single family residential) located in Transect L3-L6, the public realm must be provided for and enhanced through design measures and features such as street furniture, public art, gardens and benches that are accessible to all members of society.
Access for those with physical disabilities must be safeguarded through designs meeting the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) Accessibility Guidelines.
The project may not block access to, nor diminish the quality of, fresh air, sunlight, and natural waterways for any member of society or adjacent developments. The project must also appropriately address any noise audible to the public.
Fresh Air: The project must protect adjacent property from any noxious emissions that would compromise its ability to use natural ventilation. All operational emissions must be free of Red List items, persistent bioaccumulative toxicants, and known or suspect carcinogenic, mutagenic and reprotoxic chemicals.
Sunlight: The project may not block sunlight to adjacent building facades and rooftops above a maximum height allotted for the Transect.
The project may not shade the roof of a development with which it shares a party wall, unless the adjoining development was built to a lesser density than acceptable for the Transect.
Natural Waterways: The project may not restrict access to the edge of any natural waterway, except where such access can be proven to be a hazard to public safety or would severely compromise the function of the development. No project may assume ownership of water contained in these bodies or compromise the quality or quantity that flows downstream. If the project's boundary is more than sixty meters long parallel to the edge of the waterway, it must incorporate and maintain an access path to the waterway from the most convenient public right-of-way.
For every dollar of total project cost, the development must set aside and donate half a cent or more to a charity of it's choosing or contribute to ILFI's Equitable Offset Program, which directly funds renewable infrastructure for charitable enterprises.
18 Just Organizations
The project must help create a more JUST, equitable society through the transparent disclosure of the business practices of the major organizations involved. At least one of the following project team members must have a JUST Label for their organization:
- Architect of Record
- MEP Engineer of Record
- Structural Engineer of Record
- Landscape Architect of Record
- Interior Architect of Record
- Owner / Developer
Project teams are also required to send JUST program information to at least ten project consultants, sub-consultants or product suppliers as part of ongoing advocacy.
The project must contain design features intended solely for human delight and the celebration of culture, spirit and place appropriate to its function and meaningfully integrate public art.
Educational materials about the operation and performance of the project must be provided to the public to share successful solutions and to motivate others to make change.
Projects must provide:
- An annual open day for the public.
- An educational web site that shares information about the design, construction, and operation of the project.
- A simple brochure describing the design and environmental features of the project, as well as ways for occupants to optimize project function.
- A copy of the Operations and Maintenance Manual.
- Interpretive signage that teaches visitors and occupants about the project.
- A Living Building Case Study to be posted on the Institute website.
Adam J. Trott Architect
1001 State Street, Suite 205
Erie, Pennsylvania 16501
p. (814) 456-8667
f. (814) 453-4978
Adam J. Trott Architect © 2013