Living Building Challenge

One of the most ambitious aspects of the Bullitt Center was achieving the goals of the Living Building Challenge (version 2.0), as described by the International Living Building Institute.

To be certified as a Living Building a structure was required to produce as much energy as it uses in a years, and capture and treat rainwater for all its needs for at least 12 continuous months and to meet rigorous standards for “Red List” compliant materials and for the quality of its indoor environment.

The Living Building Challenge requires a project to meet 20 specific imperatives within seven performance areas (or “Petals”). For the Bullitt Center, meeting the imperatives included the following:

  • Site: The location supports a pedestrian-, bicycle-, and transit-friendly lifestyle. 
  • Water: Rainwater is collected on the roof, stored in an underground cistern and used throughout the building (once approved by the regulatory authorities).
  • Energy: A solar array generates as much electricity as the building uses (actually 60% more than we used in 2014).
  • Health: The building promotes health for its occupants, with inviting stairways, operable windows and features to promote walking and resource sharing.
  • Materials: The building does not contain “Red List” hazardous materials, including PVC, cadmium, lead, mercury and hormone-mimicking substances, all of which are commonly found in building components.
  • Equity: All workstations are within 30 feet of large operable windows, offering workers access to fresh air and natural daylight.
  • Beauty: Stunning architecture, an innovative photovoltaic array, a green roof and other native plantings, large structural timbers and a revitalized pocket park help beautify the surrounding neighborhood.

250 years: Lifespan of the building

14,303 sq.ft.: Area of solar array

16 kBtu/sq.ft./yr: Energy Use Index

400 feet: Depth of geothermal wells

56,000 gal: Size of cistern

362: Toxic chemicals on “red list”

100 out of 100: WalkScore for site

26: # of geothermal wells

950 sq.ft.: Size of rainwater cistern

82%: Interior with natural daylight