International Living Future Institute Launches Local Collaborative

By Eva Klein, USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter Intern

Sustainability is a matter of inclusion. Almost by definition this describes the International Living Future Institute (ILFI), a forward thinking non-profit whose name, programs, and initiatives clearly show that inclusive orientation is at their core. Not only does ILFI seek to reduce humans’ negative impact, or footprint, on the environment, they also strive to give back by creating a larger positive impact, or handprint.

ILFI takes a restorative approach toward sustainable planning. They have created building and product rating systems and tools oriented towards not just reducing energy use, water consumption, and waste but actually generating more positive externalities for the environment.

Their programs take a holistic approach when evaluating buildings and products. The Living Future Challenges allow individuals and companies to evaluate the environmental impact of both residential and commercial buildings, and products, while also accounting for aspects of beauty, equity, and health. They offer a range of certifications based on successfully completed topic categories, called petals, such as water, energy, and health and happiness. Imperatives under each petal are essential for earning certification and include net positive water and net positive energy. Programs include the Living Building Challenge, the most rigorous program, as well as the Living Product Challenge, Zero Energy and Zero Carbon challenges. Additionally they offer Transparency Labels called JUST and Declare for aiding materials transparency.

In recent years, the International Living Future Institute has branched out from its Northwest base and started collaboratives in other states. These collaberatives are advocates for inspiring community leaders and citizens to implement deep green building strategies and policy. The ILFI’s mission is much in line with that of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) who seeks to start, create, and assist in constructing environmentally responsible and healthy spaces. This overlapping vision to sustainabilize the built environment and communities has led to a blooming partnership between USGBC – Missouri Gateway Chapter and ILFI’s St. Louis Collaborative; USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter will now house ILFI in St. Louis.

To initiate this partnership, the ILFI – St. Louis Collaborative is hosting a Kick-Off Event on August 2nd from 4 to 6 pm at the Jan Phillips Learning Center (JPLC), a living example of ILFI’s programs. The JPLC, owned by The College School, is currently seeking Living Building Challenge Certification which will be awarded after one year of use. Located in Pacific, MO, the campus features semi-permeable pavers, rainwater collection systems, solar energy, 360-degree views and a strong commitment to hands on learning for students. The Kick-Off event will follow a seminar and tour of the JPLC building highlighting features that make it a truly living building.

Combining resources, USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter and ILFI will collaborate to continue promoting green building design, construction, and operations and to fortify consideration for not just our buildings, but also the people inside them and the surrounding communities. Together, these two organizations will catalyze change in the greater St. Louis area and the whole of Missouri by linking new and complementary ideas from ILFI with USGBC-Missouri Gateway, a community stronghold.

For information on the JLPC Living Building Seminar and Kick-Off Event visit http://www.usgbc-mogateway.org/2018/02/jclp-living-building/ and for more information on ILFI visit https://living-future.org/