During this year’s unConference, with only 201 registered projects, the International Living Future Institute launched their new website and the new Living Building Challenge 3.0 standard.

The structure of the standard remains essentially the same but with a slight change of name:  7 “petals,” consisting of Place, Water, Energy, Health & Happiness, Materials, Equity, and Beauty, and 20 imperatives. The paths to certification (Living certification, Petal Certification, and Net Zero) have remained unchanged

The goal of the new version is to produce regenerative architecture and to augment the emphasis on resiliency and social equity.

The biggest changes include:

  • Projects must now exceed Net Zero requirements, becoming Net Positive, which means that a building must produce 105% of its energy needs on site from a renewable source.
  • The neighborhood typology, previously one of the four typologies (Renovation, Landscape or Infrastructure, Building, and Neighborhood) of the Challenge, which determine the relevant imperatives for each project, spawned from the Living Building Challenge 2.1 to become its own independent challenge, the Living Community Challenge 1.0
  • The 2 imperatives (Net Zero Water and Ecological Water Flow) under the Water Petal in version 2.1 were combined into a single imperative for 3.0 (Net Positive Water). This fusion allowed for the addition of a new imperative under the Equity Petal, to now include JUST organizations, meaning that at least one project team member must have a JUST label for their organization.
  • Imperative 10, the Red List now includes 9 additional chemicals:

– Alkylphenols

– Bisphenol A (BPA)

– Chlorobenzenes

– Chromium VI

– Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride (CPVC)

– Formaldehyde (added)

– Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)

– Perflourinated Compounds (PFCs)

– Plyvinylidene Chloride (PVDC)

  • Mandatory use of one Declare label for 500m2 of gross building area, AND must send the information of the Declare program to 10 manufacturers not using it yet.


  • Mandatory use of one JUST label.


  • Addition of Equity exchange program to the Carbon and Habitat programs. For which you’re require to donate ½ a cent (or more) for every dollar of total project cost to a charity or contribute to the Institute’s Equitable Offset Program, which in tandem with our carbon exchange funds renewable infrastructure for charitable enterprises.
  • The exception for combustion for cultural reasons was eliminated.
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