International Living Future Institute Kicks off Living Future unConference in Seattle

Highlights include compelling keynotes and news of significant scaling of the Living Building Challenge 22 projects including Etsy and Microsoft
May 17, 2017 7:50 PM ET
Press Release

SEATTLE, May 17, 2017 /3BL Media/ - The International Living Future Institute (ILFI) today kicked off the 2017 unConference, a sold-out gathering of 1,000+ experts in green building, place making and regenerative design who are celebrating the “Genius & Courage” of a movement that is fast gaining momentum. Van Jones is opening the conference today, and Naomi Klein is the Friday morning keynote.

“We look to our keynote speakers to connect our movement with the broader social dialogue,” said Amanda Sturgeon FAIA, CEO of ILFI. “And this year is no exception. Van and Naomi will help frame a dynamic conversation about how we maintain momentum in an era of unprecedented challenge for the ideals that we hold dear – how to build communities that are socially just, culturally rich and ecologically restorative.”

The Living Building Challenge Scales

A record-setting 22 new projects have certified in the past year, scaling the program to a total of 74 certified projects and demonstrating that the Living Building Challenge is not only possible but replicable.

This newly certified 500,000+ square feet of space includes projects in the U.S., Canada and New Zealand and ranges from Google’s Chicago offices, to an award-winning multi-purpose building for one of New Zealand’s indigenous peoples, to Etsy’s Brooklyn, NY, headquarters, to NRDC’s San Francisco office -- their fourth such certification. Additionally, Microsoft has confirmed it has registered their 600,000 SF Silicon Valley Campus as a Living Building Challenge project, with a focus on the Water Petal. The company looks forward to sharing more details on their progress in the coming months.

The tribal center for the Tuhoe Maori, from the North Island of New Zealand, is now certified as a Living Building; a project that represents the cultural values of the Tuhoe people. Kirsti Luke, Chief Executive, Tūhoe Te Uru Taumatua, Ngāi Tūhoe’s Tribal Authority, will share a vision for all indigenous communities around the world in her talk.

“When we first released the Living Building Challenge we were told that this level of regenerative design was not possible, not only have we proven it is but we have shown that Living Buildings can scale to all project types and sizes around the world,” said Sturgeon.

A full list of all Living Building Certified Projects, along with case studies, can be found here:

The unConference, which runs May 17-19, features a far-reaching agenda of workshops, networking opportunities and celebration of Genius & Courage. For more information, visit

About the International Living Future Institute

The International Living Future Institute is a hub for visionary programs. The Institute offers global strategies for lasting sustainability, partnering with local communities to create grounded and relevant solutions, including green building and infrastructure solutions on scales ranging from single room renovations to neighborhoods or whole cities.  The Institute administers the Living Building Challenge, the environment’s most rigorous and ambitious performance standard. It is the parent organization for Cascadia Green Building Council, a chapter of both the United States and Canada Green Building Councils that serves Alaska, British Columbia, Washington and Oregon. It is also home to Ecotone Publishing, a unique publishing house dedicated to telling the story of the green building movement's pioneering thinkers and practitioners.

Lisa Lilienthal
International Living Future Institute
+1 (404) 661-3679