The Living Building Challenge project certification process for projects pursuing Full Certification or Petal Recognition (Net Zero Energy Building Certification follows a slightly different process) is intentionally straightforward, while still fostering an environment of support and collaboration. A project’s path from inspired vision to inspirational achievement consists of three steps: Registration, Documentation + Operation and Audit + Certification.
At the point of registration, a team provides known project details, including the project's Typology and Transect. At the point of registration, project team members join the Living Building Challenge Community and gain access to online support resources. Ideally, project registration should take place prior to the onset of the design process, but this is not required. Learn about pricing.
Documentation + Operation
Once registered, a project team can begin organizing and submitting documentation through its account on the Project Portal. The Portal allows users to assign Documentation Requirements to individual team members. A project team can elect to receive additional support at the beginning of, or during its design process by choosing from a menu of Technical Assistance services offered by the Institute. As questions arise, project teams can submit requests for technical clarifications to the Institute via the Dialogue, or refer to the Institute’s array of Tools + Support.
A project team continues the documentation process through the project’s construction phase and its operational phase—twelve consecutive months of operation, during which project performance data is recorded. Once the operational phase is complete, a project team may submit data for audit. Certification fees are submitted prior to audit and are based on project type and size. Project teams pursuing full certification or ‘Living’ status, may opt to undergo a separate preliminary audit to receive a conditional assessment of Imperatives whose requirements are less likely to be impacted by the operational phase. Learn more.
Audit + Certification
Once the Institute verifies that all documentation has been submitted, an independent auditor performs a content review of the documentation followed by a project site visit. Following the site visit, the auditor compiles a final report. The Institute then reviews the auditor report, notifies the team of the audit results and certifies the project accordingly. Learn more about the Audit Process and our Awards + Certificates.