Living Building Challenge Resources

Living Building Challenge resources

essential resources

The Living Building Challenge Standard

The Living Building Challenge Standard is the core document that project teams use to guide a path toward certification. Download the pdf to learn more about the regenerative design framework and program requirements.

documentation requirements

Project teams should refer to this document periodically throughout every phase of their project, from predesign through the end of the performance period, in order to prepare for the audit.

LBC 3.1 Guidance Handbook

This Early Guidance Handbook is a free addition to the LBC Petal Handbook series, a critical resource for project teams pursuing the Living Building Challenge 3.1. There is one Petal Handbook for each of the seven Petals, and those handbooks define the requirements for each Petal as of their date of issue.

Tracking Tables

+ Energy Production & Demand Table (all versions of LBC, ZE, and ZC)

+ Energy Submetering Tracking Table 

+ Water Supply & Use Table

+ 4.x Materials Tracking Table

+ 3.x Materials Tracking Table

+ 2.x Materials Tracking Table

+ Policy Tracking Table

Petal Handbooks

Dive into the details of the Living Building Challenge’s seven performance areas with the Petal Handbooks. Petal Handbooks include critical information for projects pursuing every certification type, including:

  •  Technical guidance
  •  Clarifications and exceptions
  •  Terms and definitions

The current LBC 4.0 Petal Handbooks, along with previous versions (3.0, 3.1) are AVAILABLE ONLY TO ACTIVE LIVING FUTURE MEMBERSJoin as a member or login to your Member Dashboard to access. Email if you have any questions.


You can purchase discounted Petal Handbooks. Contact with the following:Professors + Students: Please include the below to get a code for your class:

  • Professor name
  • University
  • Class (title and type)
  • Time period of class (which months)
  • Number of students (approximated) Professors only
  • Date publication needs to be available to students Professors only

The Dialogue

Registered project teams have access to the Dialogue, which is an online platform for teams to request precedent setting clarifications and exceptions. These rulings inform the ongoing evolution of the LBC standard and the compliance of proposed strategies for meeting LBC requirements. Dialogue access is through each project’s LBC dashboard. If you experience difficulty accessing or posting to the Dialogue, please contact

To explore previous rulings, check out the Dialogue collection.

Water Petal Guidance

Water Petal Permitting Guidebook

This guidebook is a reference for project teams that are pursuing the Water Petal, or for any project team that is implementing on-site water capture, treatment, and reuse systems of any type or scale. This guidebook provides general guidance for the permitting process for each category of water system that your project may incorporate in pursuit of the Water Petal, as well as tips for working with local jurisdictions and regulators.


To explore the regulatory successes achieved by 20 project teams and regulators around the country, check out ILFI’s Water Policy and Permitting Case Studies. Their accomplishments are crucial steps forward in the story of restorative integrated water management, and their lessons learned can assist future projects in their own regulatory partnerships.

On-site Water Systems: Financial Case Studies

To explore the return on investment, first cost, and maintenance cost data from a variety of different building types and sizes using on-site water capture, treatment, and reuse systems, see ILFI’s On-Site Water Systems Financial Case Studies Report.

materials Guidance

Declare Product Database

ILFI’s Declare database hosts detailed information on all materials and products that have registered with the Declare program.

+ View the Database

Materials Petal Database

Healthy Urban Places is a third-party website with information about various building materials, listed by CSI division.

This resource can be a starting point for teams pursuing the Materials Petal of the Living Building Challenge.

Important: Materials in this database do not automatically meet the requirements of the Living Building Challenge. Project teams must still vet each material and gather their own documentation.

The REd List

The Red List contains twenty-two classes of chemicals. Each chemical class contains a multitude of individual chemicals, identified by their Chemical Abstract Services Registry Number, or CAS RN. Taken together, these classes comprise nearly eight hundred individual ingredients.

Use this resource to show manufacturers precisely which ingredients are prohibited from inclusion in Living Buildings.

+ Download the full Red List

FSC Sourcing Guide

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Sourcing Guide provides an overview of the Living Building Challenge requirements for wood and includes sourcing tips.

+ Download the FSC Sourcing Guide

FSC Supplier Database

FSC, in conjunction with the Northwest Natural Resource Group (NNRG) has created a new supplier database that helps project teams search for specific products by region, providing supplier contact information and predicted turn-around times.

+ FSC Supplier Database

Sample materials lists

Several project teams have made their materials lists publicly available. Project teams must still conduct their own research to ensure that the materials from these lists comply with the current materials requirements.

Important: We don’t guarantee the compliance of listed products: these lists have not been reviewed by ILFI and are not sufficient for materials documentation.

+ Bullitt Center – Seattle, WA (LBC version 2.1)

+ Bechtel Environmental Classroom, Smith Classroom – Whately, MA (LBC version 2.1)

+ Brock Environmental Center – Virginia Beach, VA (LBC version 2.1)

+ Certified 3.x Projects Materials

Living Building challenge Specification Resources

These resources were developed to help project teams customize their project specifications for Living Building Challenge product requirements for the Materials and Health and Happiness Petals. The use of these sample specifications is not required and the information should be incorporated into the Construction Documents at the project team’s discretion. These sections are intended to serve as a guide and should be modified to meet the specific needs of the project. ILFI is collecting project team feedback using the published Spec Resource Feedback Form and will incorporate feedback into the final LBC Specification Resources. Documents include:

+ Living Building Challenge Specifications Guidebook – a narrative explanation of the resources and some instructions

+ Section 01 74 19-Construction Waste Management – Editable Division 01 language

+ Section 01 81 13-Sustainable Design Requirements – Editable Division 01 language

+ Section 01 81 14-Construction Indoor Air Quality – Editable Division 01 language

+ Living Building Challenge Performance Requirements – Editable sample text for Divisions 03-50 to aid in compliance with LBC Exceptions

Biophilic Design Resources

Biophilic Design Guidebook

ILFI has developed this guidebook to help Living Building Challenge project teams develop more biophilic projects and comply with the requirements and intent of Imperative 09 – Biophilic Environment. The guidebook includes a general overview, as well as recommended topics, content and tips.

Technical Assistance

charrette Facilitation

We’re here to help you find feasible solutions for their Living Building Challenge projects. Charrettes are optional kick-off meetings to help your team define fundamental and strategic goals.

We design the agenda, facilitate the session, and provide a follow-up summary.


Spends a day with ILFI staff to discuss how your project accounts for each Imperative of the Living Building Challenge. Following a review of the project documents, we will issue a report outlining our guidance that will help your team achieve certification. Guidance can be focused on the Imperatives within a single Petal, select Petals, or all seven Petals of the Living Building Challenge.


Customized training is available as an optional service for organizations and project teams to ensure that project team members have a shared understanding of the Living Building Challenge or particular Petal area. The most common workshop requested is a full-day introduction to Living Building Challenge. During these workshops, we’ll discuss contextual information such as development patterns and density, and regulatory, financial, behavioral and technological barriers and incentives. We also offer customized technical assistance for teams working on projects currently in the design phase.


We support manufacturers as they embrace transparency and investigate how their products meet the Living Building Challenge requirements. We’ll examine your manufacturing process, supply chain, and product performance requirements in order to identify Red List chemicals and possible alternatives.

Email LBC.SUPPORT@LIVING-FUTURE.ORG to schedule technical assistance.

ILFI Certification Crosswalks

Zero Energy & Passive House (PHI) Crosswalk

This document addresses the International Living Future Institute’s (ILFI) Zero Energy (ZE) certification and the Passive House certification of the Passive House Institute (PHI). ILFI and PHI consider these certification programs to be highly complementary. The energy efficiency requirements of Passive House provide a targeted pathway focused on high energy efficiency for pursuing Zero Energy. The 12-month performance requirements of Zero Energy certification, in turn, provide a mechanism to validate the outcome of anticipated energy savings from Passive House.


This document addresses the International Living Future Institute’s (ILFI) Zero Energy (ZE) certification and the PHIUS+ certification of the Passive House Institute US (PHIUS). ILFI and PHIUS consider these certification programs to be highly complementary. The energy efficiency requirements of PHIUS+ certification provide a targeted pathway focused on high energy efficiency for pursuing Zero Energy. The 12-month performance requirements of Zero Energy certification, in turn, provide a mechanism to validate the outcome of anticipated energy savings from PHIUS+.


The Green Building Council of Australia and the International Living Future Institute have agreed to work collaboratively to promote the design, construction and operations of positive and restorative buildings in Australia. This document provides assistance for new buildings seeking to obtain both a certified Green Star – Design & As Built rating and a Living Building Challenge Certified rating.


The International Living Future Institute (ILFI) and the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), have agreed to work collaboratively to promote the design, construction and operations of healthy and restorative buildings. The two organizations will work together to identify opportunities to align the two rating systems, coordinate events and education offerings, and promote building practices that significantly raise the standard of what green buildings should be.

Previous Versions of the Standard

+ Download the LBC Standard 3.0

+ Download the LBC Standard 2.1

+ Download the LBC Standard 2.0

+ Download the LBC Standard 1.3


+ Download “3.1 to 4.0 Upgrade Guide”

+ Download “What’s New in 3.1”

+ Download “What’s New in 3.0”


+ Download the LBC Standard – Spanish