Housing Buildings Pursuing Living Building Challenge Certification

About the Project

The Housing & Residential Life Administration and Hillside Commons, also known as the Hillside Gateway, and the Parkside North Residential Housing buildings were completed in 2021. Hillside Gateway consists of a pair of parallel buildings. The single-story structure on the South hosts the main offices for the Housing & Residential Life department. The 2-story building to the North includes a community room, a musical practice room and various meeting and study rooms for students on the first floor. The second floor includes five apartments for temporary faculty and VIP accommodations. The Parkside North Residential building is a dormitory building that includes more than 450 beds as well as pod study rooms, kitchens, community spaces, rooftop patio space and outdoor courtyards. 

What is so special about these projects?

Hillside Gateway is poised to be the first CSU building to pursue Certified Living status under the International Living Future Institute’s (ILFI) Living Building Challenge program. This certification recognizes regenerative projects that have documented net positive water, waste, and energy through performance metrics. As of fall of 2021, less than 30 buildings globally have achieved this incredibly challenging and exemplary feat.

Similarly, Parkside North is pursuing ILFI's Petal certification program, demonstrating regenerative place, net positive energy, and locally contextual beauty. 

Moreover, both Hillside Gateway and Parkside North are pursuing USGBC's LEEDv4 Platinum certification. 

These projects set a new standard for green building, not only in the CSU system, but also for higher education broadly, further solidifying CSULB as a leader of sustainability.

What is the Living Building Challenge?

The Living Building Challenge is the most ambitious green building standard in the world. It is organized around the idea that the purpose of designing and constructing buildings should be to positively impact the greater community of life on our planet as well as the cultural fabric of our human communities. It is a philosophical approach to building that aims to promote a truly regenerative and harmonious relationship between people and nature.

To become Living Building Challenge certified, projects must demonstrate performance across several imperative categories known as "Petals." Projects can pursue Certified Living status by achieving all seven Petals, as in the case of Hillside Gateway, or focus certification around three Petals with at least one being a primary Petal (Energy, Water or Materials), as is the case for Parkside North. 

LBC-Certification is awarded after demonstrating that all imperatives are met. For a Certified Living building, a minimum of 12 months of data following occupancy documenting net positive water and energy is required. You can learn more about the Petals and how these projects were designed in accordance with their criteria by clicking the links to the left.