Research

Research

We turn ideas into action

Research Library

Making the Switch: Transitioning Toward Integrated Water Management in Puget Sound

What’s Inside:

• International, national and state level case studies
• Lessons learned in making transition to integrated, more decentralized water management

Policy Making for Healthy, Resilient Water Systems in the Puget Sound

What’s Inside:

• Puget Sound water systems + Washington regulations
• Policy making recommendations

Clean Water, Healthy Sound: A Life Cycle Analysis of Alternative Wastewater Treatment Strategies in the Puget Sound Area

What’s Inside:

• Brief history of wastewater treatment in North America and the Puget Sound region
• Strategies for decentralized treatment
• Life Cycle Analysis of wastewater treatment systems

Regulatory Pathways to Net Zero Energy Water

What’s Inside:

• Living Building Challenge: Net Zero water and ecological water flow
• Codes and degulations related to Net Zero water
• Guidance to Seattle-area design teams pursuing the Living Building Challenge

Toward Net Zero Water – Best Management Practices for Decentralized Sourcing and Treatment 

What’s Inside:

• Best management practices for designing safe, efficient and effective Net Zero water systems at various scales
• Overview of best practices and technologies for decentralized and distributed water systems
• Case studies illustrating best in-class examples of innovative water systems used by actual projects from around the globe

Achieving Water Independence in Buildings: Negotiating the Challenge of Water Reuse in Oregon

What’s Inside:

• Explains water reuse strategies and what current Oregon regulations allow
• Explores regulatory, technological and behavioral barriers to achieve net-zero water

+ Living Building Challenge: Framework for Affordable Housing

What’s Inside:

• Highlights pathways to overcome social, regulatory, and financial barriers to achieving Living Building Challenge certification in Affordable Housing

Living Building Challenge Certification in Quebec: Challenge and Solutions

What’s Inside:

• Addresses regional challenges to the pursuit of the Living Building Challenge in Quebec

Code, Regulatory and Systemic Barriers Affecting Living Building Projects

What’s Inside:

• Addresses both systemic and specific regulatory barriers encountered by projects pursuing the goals and prerequisites established by the Living Building Challenge within the U.S. and Canada

City of Vancouver/Clark County Code Study

What’s Inside:

• Identifies and addresses code and regulatory barriers to the Living Building Challenge for sustainable, affordable, residential development
• Report 1: Findings
• Report 2: Strategies and Recommendations
• Report 3: Cost Benefit Summary

Every year, approximately 1 billion square feet of buildings are demolished and replaced with new construction in the United States. The Brookings Institution projects that some 82 billion square feet of existing space will be demolished and replaced between 2005 and 2030 – roughly one-quarter of today’s existing building stock. Yet, few studies to date have sought to examine the environmental impacts of razing old buildings and erecting new structures in their place. In particular, the climate change implications of demolition and new construction, as compared to building renovation and reuse, remain under-examined.

For this reason, our research team has partnered with fellow organizations to compare the environmental impacts of building demolition and new construction relative to building renovation and reuse.

The Greenest Building: Quantifying the Environmental Value of Building Reuse

What’s Inside:

•Provides most comprehensive analysis to date of the potential environmental benefit of building reuse
•Offer policy=makers, building owners, developers, architects and engineers compelling evidence of the merits of reusing existing buildings as opposed to tearing them down and building new

There is a perceived cost premium associated with advanced green building practices.  We have found, however, that this premium is less extensive than many people believe it to be. Unfortunately, current lending approaches, appraisal protocols and valuation models have hindered the adoption of environmentally sound building practices, slowing innovation and market growth at green building’s leading edge.

These barriers affect the perceived financial viability of environmentally sound projects. As a result, long-term deep sustainability is often considered a luxury available only for those who can afford ‘extras’. Advanced green building best practices are too often overlooked for market-rate building projects and rarely incorporated into the below-market affordable housing projects where they are needed most.

We are working with a team of economists, developers and valuation professionals to create a new model for real estate investment that will remove the artificial financial disincentives for deep green buildings. Our financial research is dedicated to clearing the way for dramatic improvement in the built environment’s relationship to the ecosystems it inhabits.

Net Zero and Living Building Challenge Financial Study

What’s Inside:

• Investigate costs, benefits and approaches necessary to improve building performance in the District of Columbia from LEED Platinum to zero energy, zero water and Living Building status
• Advises on policy drivers related to deep green buildings

The Economics of Change

What’s Inside:

• Expands methodologies used to evaluate the multiple benefits of high performance green buildings and infrastructure

Living Building Challenge Financial Study 

What’s Inside:

• Investigates the economic obstacles to creating Living Buildings, and determine how these vary based on building type and location

High Performance Green Building – What’s It Worth?

What’s Inside:

• Helps bridge the gap in understanding between the financial and investment community and the building & design community
• Provides information about the valuation of high performance green buildings with a focus on commercial investment office properties

The International Living Future Institute envisions a safe, reliable and decentralized power grid, founded on renewable energy that supplies to incredibly efficient buildings and infrastructure without the crutch of combustion. Our energy research is aimed at identifying new, more efficient and cost-effective strategies for meeting the energy needs of our future’s homes, buildings and communities.

Saving Windows, Saving Money

What’s Inside:

• Offers insight for homeowners weighing the financial and energy tradeoffs between replacing or repairing older, less efficient windows
• Examines multiple window improvement options, comparing them to replacement windows across multiple climate regions