This week, the world’s first three living buildings were certified. The projects are the Omega Center for Sustainable Living in Rhinebeck, N.Y., Tyson Living Learning Center in Eureka, Mo., and Eco-Sense, a private residence in Victoria, B.C.
Omega and Tyson were fully certified as ‘Living.’ Eco-Sense received ‘Petal Recognition’ for meeting four of the six goals.
As someone who’s been covering this topic since April of 2007, its really exciting to see this idea become a reality. The cool thing is that these are just the first of many projects around the world. Locally, the Bullitt Foundation’s Cascadia Center for Design + Construction, designed by The Miller Hull Partnership, is the highest profile project. Other projects include an addition to the Bertschi School by the Restorative Design Collective that is already under construction and could become the first living building in the area, and The Valley View Middle School in Snohomish, by Dykeman. In Portland, the Oregon Sustainability Center is another high profile project. I, for one, am really interested to see how these projects turn out.
However, I’m also baffled by the national media’s failure to cover the story (I should point out that the Seattle Times and The Oregonian have both written about projects involved in the challenge). A month ago, Jonathan Hiskes at Grist interviewed Jason McLennan, the challenge’s creator. But that’s pretty much it. The New York Times recently profiled Passive Houses. The living building story, especially now that three have been certified, seems just like their kind of feature.
Is this topic too specific to the building industry? Does it not have broad, national appeal? Or am I just not being patient enough. For now, I guess I’ll just continue to wait.
For more on living buildings in general, click the living building tab below.