The Living Building Challenge

Camp Glenorchy is being designed and will be operated in line with the philosophy and principles of the Living Building Challenge (LBC).

Administered by the International Living Future Institute  (ILFI), the LBC is widely accepted to be the most stringent environmental building design certification tool in the world.

The LBC aims to transform how we think about every single act of design and construction to positively impact the greater community of life and the cultural fabric of our human communities. In this sense it is very different from the average building certification program – it is a philosophy first, an advocacy tool second, and a certification program third.

The LBC asks the following question:

LBC petalsWhat if every single act of design and construction could make the world a better place?

The focus of the LBC is on humanity’s largest creations – it's buildings. It is, in essence, a unified tool for transformative thought, allowing us to envision a future that is socially just, culturally rich and ecologically restorative. Regardless of the size or location of the project, the LBC provides a framework for design, construction and the symbiotic relationship between people and all aspects of the community. 

It is our goal that as Camp Glenorchy and Glenorchy Marketplace unfold, all those contributing to it will continually ask the question: 

Is this design, material selection or construction method in the best interests of our larger world and the visitors who will use the facility?

The LBC asks us to imagine a building designed and constructed to function as elegantly and efficiently as a flower. Like a flower, a building is rooted in place. A flower must generate its own fuel, collect its own water, support its local ecosystem and community (via pollination), become food for the local ecosystem at the end of its life, and ultimately, of course, a flower is beautiful.

The LBC is comprised of seven performance categories, or “Petals”: Place, Water, Energy, Health & Happiness, Materials, Equity, and Beauty. These Petals are sub-divided into a total of 20 Imperatives, each of which focuses on a specific sphere of influence. This compilation of Imperatives can be applied to almost every conceivable building project, of any scale and in any location, be it a new building or an existing structure.


Net Zero Energy Certification:

While Camp Glenorchy will aspire to all 20 imperatives, our immediate goal is to design, build and operate the site as a Net Zero Energy facility. The LBC requirements for Net Zero Energy Certification are defined as:

  • 100% of the buildings’ energy needs on a net annual basis must be supplied by on-site renewable energy.
  • No combustion is allowed: this means no gas appliances or heaters can be used at Camp Glenorchy, only electric or convection appliances. We have received consent to build a remarkable campfire shelter, made of local scheelite stone and recycled timbers, that represents the culture and spirit of the Glenorchy region. BBQs are allowed as long as they are not permanent fixtures.
  • The project will provide on-site energy storage for resiliency of operation in the event of a Civil Defence emergency. Energy storage must be provided for sufficient emergency lighting, food and all refrigeration equipment for up to 100 people for a period of up to one week.

In addition to the energy requirements, three other LBC Imperatives must be achieved for Camp Glenorchy to achieve Net Zero Energy Certification:

  • Limits to Growth: The project must be built on a previously developed site that is not on or adjacent to a sensitive ecological habitat or on a flood plain.
  • Beauty & Spirit: The project must contain design features intended solely for human delight and the celebration of culture, spirit and place appropriate to its function and meaningfully integrate public art.
  • Inspiration & Education: Educational materials about the operation and performance of the project must be provided to the public to share successful solutions and to motivate visitors to consider making changes when they return home.

Camp Glenorchy’s success in meeting the Zero Energy goal will be proven with twelve months of energy data from the site-wide monitoring system. The data will be provided to the ILFI for certification and will also be made available to the public on the project’s website.


Other New Zealand LBC Projects:

Two other New Zealand projects have sought certification within the LBC and team members of both are now working on The Headwaters and Camp Glenorchy projects:

  1. Te Uru Taumatua: This new headquarters for Ngāi Tūhoe was completed in March 2014. The design aims to achieve full LBC certification. It has not yet started the 12-month monitoring period. Tricia Love was the LBC consultant for the project and is now consulting on the Camp Glenorchy project.
  2. Zero Energy House: Auckland’s Zero Energy House project was the first in New Zealand to achieve Net Zero Energy Certification under the LBC. Its owner (Shay Brazier) and communications manager (Matt Fordham) have since formed a sustainability consultancy called Evident and are collaboratively developing sustainability communications, systems design and site-wide energy control systems interfaces for Camp Glenorchy.


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