Studio News

Living Building Challenge Materials Research


Our journey with the Living Building Challenge has included materials research under LBC 3.0 for Te Wharehou o Waikaremoana and Te Tii and under LBC 3.1 for Gisborne Airport.

Our research has led to more suppliers joining the Declare transparency movement such that it is plain to the public which building materials are healthy (Red List free or LBC Compliant). For example, we helped the Natural Paint Company reach the 99% declaration level of the Declare Label such that three of their products now have Declare Labels: Low Sheen Wall Paint, Matt Wall Paint and Matt Ceiling.

There are many other products which are healthy from a Living Building Challenge perspective which we have encouraged to join Declare, such as VMZINC®, titanium zinc for building envelopes.

The Red List helps us identify toxic chemicals which are extremely harmful to human health. The International Living Future Institute is driving change such that these worst in class materials prevalent in the building industry are being eliminated.

Arsenic, for example, is not only an acute toxin, it is a known human carcinogen. Arsenic is found in the common wood treatment CCA. Therefore we try not to specify CCA treated timbers.