Jason McLennan

26 July 2012 ­­– International Living Future Institute chief executive  and Living Building Challenge creator Jason McLennan will launch the Living Future Institute Australia next month.

As part of the launch, Mr McLennan will also deliver a series of lectures and training workshops around Australia.

The Australian institute, which is “dedicated to setting a new standard for the nation’s built environment” is an initiative of a group of Australia’s leading green building practitioners.

Board chair is Warren Overton, managing director of sustainable development and property consultancy  Viridis E3 and formerly with Energetics and the Australian National University’s Energy and Sustainability Office.

Mr Overton said organisations already partnered with the institute included Maddocks Lawyers, the University of Wollongong, the University of Melbourne, Curtin University, the University of Technology in Sydney and sponsor of a national lecture series, Aurecon Consulting.

Mr Overton said one of the aims of the institute was the Living Building Challenge, which calls for the creation of building projects, from single-room renovations to whole communities, that operate as “cleanly, beautifully and efficiently as nature’s architecture”.

To achieve certification, projects must meet 20 rigorous imperatives, including net-zero energy, waste and water, over a minimum of 12 months of continuous occupancy.

More than 140 projects are involved in the challenge worldwide, including three in Australia – the Sustainable Buildings Research Centre at the University of Wollongong, a sustainable training centre at Illawarra TAFE’s Yallah Campus and the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland.

And while the first challenges would be “a select group” there were “definitely many people interested” with New Zealand also keen to take up the mantle, he said.

Mr Overton said while existing sustainability measures were already in place, such as Green Star, the Living Building Challenge was the “next step”.

“The challenge now is to create regenerative and truly sustainable buildings, that are fully self-contained and containing,” he said.

“I have been working with Green Star for years and when it first started we were looking at the top 25 per cent of the market. The reality now is that half of the market is Green Star rated. It’s become mainstream, which is what we wanted, but we need something at the top end of the bell curve.

“We want people who have done Green Star to not rest on their laurels – and the challenge is way out there.

“In America, people do the equivalent of Green Star and then they push themselves harder with the Living Building Challenge.”

Mr Overton said he believed the institute would become a “think tank” for the industry, with the next steps biomimicry and passive houses.

“With the Living Future Institute Australia, we will be able to support the challenge and other far-reaching programs more effectively,” he said.
Meanwhile, workshops and free public lectures will be held in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. The lectures will provide an overview of the Living Building Challenge while the workshops will offer a day of training including local and international case studies. Workshop discount are available for Australian Institute members.

Lectures will be in Perth, 22 August, 6pm-8pm, Adelaide, 24 August, 4pm-6.30pm, Melbourne, 27 August, 6pm-8pm, Sydney, 29 August, 6pm-8pm.

Workshops will be held in Perth, 23 August, 9am-4.30pm, Melbourne, 28 August, 9am-4.30pm, Sydney, 30 August, 9am-4.30pm and Brisbane, 31 August, 9am-4.30pm.

Details and bookings: https://ilbi.org/countries/australia

See our previous articles

Living Building Challenge wins Buckminster Fuller Award, at https://thefifthestate.com.au/archives/35597

Watch out: McLennan’s Living Building Challenge will push ratings, at

https://thefifthestate.com.au/archives/29122