Buildings account for 39% of CO2 emissions in the United States, more than either the industrial or transportation sectors. Fortunately for the fight against climate change, green building certifications such as LEED, WELL, Green Globes, Living Building Challenge, and many others have become increasingly well-known and pervasive in the building industry.
Part III: Perlita House Green Building Certification
While we’re out here trying to beat the heat, construction on the Perlita Passive House continues on schedule. By now you’re familiar with the Perlita Passive House design process (and if not, you can read Part 1 and Part 2 to catch up) and have read that Verdical Group is leading the charge on the Project’s Living Building Challenge (LBC) Energy Petal Certification. But what does that really mean?
As you know from Part I of this blog series (or, if you haven’t read it yet, check it out here!), Xavier Gaucher is galvanizing the Los Angeles Green Building community through the use of his own single-family residence, The Perlita Passive House, as a case study to promote Passive House design and inspire others.
Sometimes all it takes is a newcomer with an open mind to recognize a game-changing opportunity. For the green building community in Los Angeles, that newcomer is Xavier Gaucher.
Born, raised and educated in France, Xavier Gaucher holds two master’s degrees – one in Air Conditioning & Refrigeration, and the other in Sales & Marketing. Xavier has over ten years of experience in the HVAC industry in France, Switzerland and the United States. In 1999, Xavier co-founded Reservit, an Internet hotel reservation system, which became one of the leading solutions in Europe for independent hotels. In July of 2014, he sold his shares of the business, and then moved to the U.S. a year later. Xavier’s background as a successful entrepreneur and an expert in HVAC mechanical engineering intersect perfectly in his newest endeavor in Los Angeles.
Photo credit: Phipps Conservatory
It seems the bar for green buildings is being set higher and higher with every new project coming onto the radar. However, the Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL) at the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens may have set the bar at its highest level. Completed in 2012, the CSL is increasingly being referred to as the most sustainable building in the world due to the fact it’s obtained the world’s four highest green certifications. The building has met the standards for LEED platinum, Four Stars Sustainable Sites Initiative, WELL building platinum, and most recently achieved Living Building Challenge certification, the toughest of them all. Glancing into how the CSL was developed, it is easy to see how this building is earning the title of most sustainable in the world.
Photo credit: Hourigan Construction
When it comes to green buildings, The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) is no rookie. 15 years ago, in 2001, CBF was the first in the world to claim a LEED Platinum certified building as its own. Their Philip Merrill Environmental Center, CBF’s Annapolis, Maryland headquarters, incorporates composting toilets, rainwater harvesting, and various other water-saving strategies that enable it to achieve a 90% reduction in water use compared to a conventional office building. As CBF is a non-profit whose sole objective is to restore and protect the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, this is certainly one organization that walks the talk (or paddles the babble?) Now, in 2016, CBF has gone above-and-beyond the status quo once again, one-upping their Maryland office with a brand new 10,000-square-foot Living Building Certified center in Virginia Beach, VA. What is it that makes their latest Brock Environmental Center one of the greenest buildings in the world?
Photo credit: Bullitt Center
“Please, come crap in my building.” Jason McClennan, during his inspiring TED Talks speech about the Living Building Challenge, half-jokingly says that he tells people this because of his office building’s unique bathrooms. But, what actually makes these unique? What is it about this office building that makes a positive impact on the environment when people use it?