LEED may be the uncontested leader among green building standards worldwide, but an increasing number of project teams are looking to go further to improve the environmental impact of their buildings. Enter the Living Building Challenge, which was founded in 2006 by the Cascadia Green Building Council, and is run today by the International Living Future Institute, a non-governmental organization based in the Pacific Northwest. The LBC is the most rigorous green-building standard in the market today, requiring buildings to generate more energy than they consume and mandating data collection around areas of building performance including water consumption, energy use and waste management.

Since its launch, the ILFI has added similar certifications for building materials and entire communities, as well as net-zero energy buildings. It has also introduced a material-ingredient disclosure program through its Declare label, among its other initiatives. Today, there are roughly 350 Living Building registered and certified projects worldwide in different stages of development, signaling a growing interest in sustainable design across the spectrum, and of more project teams willing and able to take on the ambitious goal of building structures with net-positive environmental impacts.

Construction Dive talked with Jason F. McLennan, the founder and current chair of the ILFI who co-founded the LBC a decade ago, to learn more about where ultra-sustainable construction is today. Currently, McLennan splits his time between the Institute and his own 10-person design and consulting firm,McLennan Design, in Bainbridge Island, WA, and will release a new book in October, “Transformational Thought II: More Radical Ideas to Remake the Built Environment,”¬†discussing tactics for implementing sustainable design strategies.

Read the full interview at Construction Dive