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). We have helped various suppliers have their products reach the 99% declaration level of the Declare Label such that they now have Declare Labels. There are many other products which are healthy from a Living Building Challenge perspective, however, they have not chosen to join Declare at present. We apply our knowledge of LBC compliant materials to our LBC and non-LBC projects alike, where we can.

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.