I work remotely for Quilo from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Just up the road from my home is the newly-built Frick Environmental Center which is in the process of pursuing certification for the Living Building Challenge and is on track to be the greenest building in the world. Watching it being built was akin to witnessing a gestation–seeing an intricate composition take shape and materialize into this gorgeous, organic structure.
A Living Building
There are currently only a dozen or so buildings worldwide that have met the rigorous standards for sustainability that the Living Building Challenge demands. As the term ‘living’ indicates, the building must be completely self-sustaining, acutely aware of the energy it’s consuming and the energy it’s expelling. The Frick Environmental Center has net-zero energy with all energy being produced onsite through solar panels and geothermal wells. Rain water is elegantly collected through a cascading outdoor art ravine and stored in cisterns to be used throughout the site. Building materials were locally sourced and the architecture is airy and calming.
What is your Living Building Challenge?
While this standard of environmental conscientiousness can’t yet be replicated wholesale, simply having these buildings in our spheres does create an awareness of our own carbon footprints. Do you have spaces and places in your neighborhood that wow you with their green design?
And because we are publishing this on Quilo, did you know that evaporative cooling uses 15% of the electricity consumed by an air conditioner of the same size and requires no chemicals? With one appliance at a time, we can transform our spaces into sustainable spheres.