Site visit and introduction to the new Living Building Challenge (LBC) certification standard – a case study in Lancashire - Preston
Living Building Challenge buildings are:
- Regenerative spaces that connect occupants to light, air, food, nature, and community
- Self-sufficient and remain within the resource limits of their site. Living Buildings produce more energy than they use and collect and treat all water on site
- Healthy and beautiful
Cuerden Valley Park Trust owns and manages 650 acres of parkland and farmland just outside Preston, Lancashire and is the first building in the UK to use the LBC standard as a design tool, pending Living Certification. Certification against Living Building Challenge is achieved when the building has proven the design intent (for energy, water and air quality etc.) over a twelve month continuous period. The Trust is currently going through this proving period, and the building is expected to be registered in early summer 2019.
The Trust’s aims were to create a new identity for the Trust with its first stand alone facilities since being formed in 1986, a classroom for a popular educational programme, offices for the staff and a café to generate much needed income.
The lead designer - Barbara Jones at Straw Works – persuaded her clients to create a project that would meet the Living Building Challenge, with no concrete, no ‘red list’ materials, car tyre foundations, straw bale walls and a cedar shingle roof.
The site chosen was in the greenbelt and particular care was placed on designing for the setting. To save cost, and to root the building in the community, this self build project was undertaken by volunteers led by a small band of enthusiastic Trustees, together with the invaluable volunteer contribution from John Stainton - the former Chair of the Trust - who acted as Project Manager for the entire project.
Sub-contractors were brought in at later stages for specialist trades. The project was on site for three years and since opening in March 2018 visitor numbers to the Park have trebled and the building is expected to have had 70,000 visitors in the first year.
The event will include a talk and tour of this innovative project.
14.20 Introduction to LBC – Martin Brown, Sustainability (LBC) Advisor.
Martin will introduce the Living Building Challenge along with associated programmes such as Declare and JUST emphasising their important relevance to the built environment sector in the UK.
14.50 Client perspective – Simon Thorpe Just how challenging is the Living Building Challenge?
Capital projects are always a challenge especially for charities and community groups, but are there any added obstacles with LBC that might trip you up and what should you expect? Are you an intelligent client, and can you live with the success penalty (too many customers wanting cappuccinos and flushing the loo eating into your energy and water targets!) Simon will share the Trust’s experience for clients and designers.
15.15 Design and Specifying Materials – Barbara Jones
Barbara will talk about the challenge and excitement of designing the first registered UK project and particular challenges of meeting the LBC requirements, using the Red list, a list of chemicals that may not be included in materials used in construction that seeks to meet the criteria of the (LBC). It has been developed by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI) and is composed of materials that should be phased out of production due to health concerns. Barbara will also discuss some differences between UK and US thinking, such as also eliminating the use of other materials that are not chemicals, but which adversely affect the environment.
15.45 Tour of the building in small groups to facilitate Q&A’s
Client: Cuerden Valley Park Trust
Design team: Lead designer Barbara Jones at Straw Works, Project Consultants James Woolgrove Associates, M&E B&R Consulting.
Main Contractor Cuerden Valley Park Trust, sub-contractor J T Construction.
Funders: Veolia Landfill Communities Fund, Lancashire Environmental Fund, South Ribble Borough Council, Chorley Borough Council, Garfield Weston Foundation, Friends of Cuerden Valley Park, plus individual donors.
Preston, LAN PR5 6BY