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Sustainable Design

Published November, 2020

Sustaining Hope Within Crisis

The International Living Future Institute’s Living Future 2020 conference highlighted increasing momentum and the scale of living buildings around the world.​


Living Future 2020 opened last Thursday showing how leaders around the world are “Sustaining Hope Within Crisis,” by bringing innovative projects to life.


Normally held in person, this year the International Living Future Institute asked people to come together online for the two-day event.


“The theme of “Sustaining Hope Within Crisis” originally intended to reflect our climate emergency, but is even more relevant in light of the global COVID-19 pandemic,” said Jason McLennan, Founder of ILFI and the Living Building Challenge, during his opening keynote.

“Coming together as a community is paramount to creating a collective message of hope.”


From a winery and eco-retreat to an urban office building and school of public policy, people are finding hope and creating innovative solutions by developing Living Buildings. These new proof points represent a dramatic increase in momentum, scale, and complexity for the world’s most advanced, holistic performance standard for buildings.


In project after project, each groundbreaking team is showing how innovation and creative problem solving offers a sense of hope.

“These are difficult times, but seeing so many amazing buildings, and hearing from the people who worked so hard to make them real, gives me hope for the future,” said Anthony Guerrero, Board Chair of the International Living Future Institute and Chief Real Estate and Sustainability Officer at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

“These projects are showing what the new normal must look like.”

Google’s London 6 Pancras Square, a 370,000 square-foot building in London, was the first project to earn Zero Carbon certification and the first project certified by the Institute in Europe. In addition, Google was the first team to complete a Living Building Challenge Volume Program audit, which gives project teams with large portfolios a way to efficiently scale their commitments to the Institute’s mission. These accomplishments build on Google’s earlier commitment to achieve the Living Building Challenge Materials Petal on its Charleston East complex in Mountain View, California, its first “ground-up” construction project.

The Silver Oak Winery became the first production facility to earn Living Building certification. Based in Healdsburg, California, the project is the largest building to achieve net positive energy under any of the Institute’s programs, with 2,595 solar panels generating more than 104% of its energy needs.

These and other new certifications build on strong existing momentum. For example, Microsoft recently committed to pursue the International Living Future Institute’s Zero Carbon certification for its Silicon Valley Campus and Puget Sound Campus modernization projects. And as part of its “Step Up Commitments,” all major, new Salesforce office interiors will pursue the Institute’s Zero Carbon Certification.


With 134 certified projects and 686 registered projects, the International Living Future Institute is making waves across 34 countries. This strong international growth is reflected in the Living Future Network, with affiliates offering events, project support and advocacy in Europe, China, Australia, New Zealand, Latin America, and the Middle East.

Internatinals Living Future Institute's Living Future 2020 Online took place May 7 and 8, but programming continues with the LF20 Online Summit and Session Series every Tuesday from May 19 through June 25 due to support from Mohawk Group and a wide array of sponsors.


The 6-week series of weekly, 2-day mini conferences will focus on the themes of health and vitality, resilience in crisis, closing the loop, biophilic design, equity and affordable housing, and embodied carbon. A full schedule and details about the Summit and Session Series can be found here.

International Living Future Institute

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