The intent of the Beauty Petal is to recognize the need for beauty as a precursor to caring enough to preserve, conserve, and serve the greater good. As a society, we are often surrounded by ugly and inhumane physical environments. If we do not care for our homes, streets, offices, and neighborhoods, then why should we extend care outward to our farms, forests, and fields? When we accept billboards, parking lots, freeways, and strip malls as being aesthetically acceptable, in the same breath we accept clear-cuts, factory farms, and strip mines.
Ideal Conditions and Current Limitations
The Living Building Challenge envisions designs that elevate our spirits and inspire us to be better than we currently are. Mandating beauty is, by definition, an impossible task. And yet, the level of discussion and ultimately the results are elevated through attempting difficult but critical tasks. In this Petal, the Imperatives are based on genuine efforts, thoughtfully applied. We do not begin to assume that we can judge beauty and project our own aesthetic values on others. But we do want to understand people’s objectives and know that an effort was made to enrich people’s lives with each square meter of construction, on each project. This intentionality of good design and graceful execution must carry forth into a program for educating the public about the environmental qualities of each Living Building Challenge project. There are no current limitations to this Petal other than our imaginations and what we as a society choose to value.
The project must meaningfully integrate public art and contain design features intended solely for human delight and the
celebration of culture, spirit, and place appropriate to the project’s function.
Educational materials about the operation and performance of the project must be provided to the public to share successful solutions and to motivate others to make change.
All Projects must provide:
• A Living Building Challenge Case Study.
• An annual open day for the public.
• A copy of the Operations and Maintenance Manual.
All projects (except single family residential) must provide:
• A simple brochure describing the design and environmental features of the project.
• Interpretive signage that teaches visitors and occupants about the project.
• An educational website.