With the new intern bunkhouse well underway, we have exciting plans for the old campus
In October 2018 Community Rebuilds and ArchNexus officially registered to build the first fully certified Living Buildings in Utah. While CR homes are already energy positive and naturally built, becoming part of the challenge will push the health and resiliency of our homes. This is not only the first project registered in Utah, but it is the first to be built for low income residents. Affordability is key in sustainability and we want to prove that healthy, restorative buildings can be affordable for everyone.
Undertaking the Living Building Challenge (LBC) is especially important in this day and age where scientists are pleading with the public to change our impact on the earth before it is too late. We so often hear the narrative that humans are separate from and detrimental to nature. Programs like the LBC lobby for a change in that narrative and argue that people can be in harmony with nature and restore the environment through buildings and design. Buildings can be more than just sustainable, they can have a positive impact on our environment, not just neutral one.
The LBC is a certification system for regenerative buildings, which function as cleanly and efficiently as a flower. These buildings are self-sufficient– collecting more energy and water than they use. They are deeply tied to place, and built from simple, natural, local, non-toxic materials and designed based on the natural systems around them. They connect occupants with light, air, food, nature, beauty, and community. It is the most rigorous “green” building certification there is and pushes the expectation for good design.
We have partnered with Salt Lake City firm Architectural Nexus to design and build several LBC certified homes on our beloved Mill Creek property. Beginning next semester, interns will live in our new straw bale bunkhouse, which is under construction now (fall 2018). The house CR interns have called home for the past four years will then be deconstructed, salvaging as much as possible. The property will become the site of these new LBC homes. A place with such a cherished history is the perfect location for a such a beautiful future.
Construction on the first home is expected to begin in Fall 2019. Updates on the project will be posted to our website and this blog. We are excited to journey further into restorative design through the LBC and continue creating new realities for affordable homes. I am deeply grateful for our partners at ArchNexus for making this project possible and guiding us through the process. Find out more about the Living Building Challenge here, and about our partners at ArchNexus here.