When green isn’t enough: meeting the Living Building Challenge

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Williams College has long turned to ASSA ABLOY as the standard for its green building products solutions. Its newest building, however, was designed to the standards of the Living Building Challenge (LBC), a certification process developed by the U.S. Green Building Council to surpass LEED qualifications. The LBC is a holistic approach to building that requires all project stakeholders to consider the real life cycle impact of design, construction and operation of the structure.


The Class of 1966 Environmental Center is a 650-square-meter building on a site that houses the Center for Environmental Studies and the Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives for Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The building incorporates a historic 1790s frame structure and new construction.  


Building to LBC standards requires each product to undergo a rigorous process to ensure it conforms. And not only do products need to meet the sourcing requirements, they also have to meet performance, aesthetic and cost goals.  


The team ultimately decided on ASSA ABLOY’s Ceco Trio-E hollow metal door with a glass panel for the openings. ASSA ABLOY’s commitment to sustainability and deep understanding of its supply chain and processes meant that the company could share factual statements about the content of the doors to allow for LBC certification. Because the doors fulfilled all the requirements, they are now included in the DECLARE database, a resource of LBC-compliant products that project teams consult when looking for healthy, responsible materials.