Omega Press Release

November 12, 2007

Green Building Competition Winners Offer Sneak Peek at the Future of Building

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Green Building Competition Winners Offer Sneak Peek at the Future of Building

"Living Building" Competition honors leading-edge buildings at the nation's largest green building conference

November 12, 2007 (Seattle / Portland, WA / OR) - The Cascadia Region Green Building Council (Cascadia) and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced the winners of the Greenbuild 2007 Living Building Competition, which was based on the performance metrics of the Living Building Challenge. Competition winners were announced last week during Members' Day of Greenbuild in Chicago. Organized by the USGBC, Greenbuild is the country's largest green building conference with an attendance of approximately20,000 people. The Living Building Challenge, developed by Cascadia, is a standard that seeks to define the highest level of sustainability currently achievable for the built environment. It is comprised of six primary categories, or Petals, which serve to gauge a building's performance upon evaluation: Site, Energy, Materials, Water, Indoor Quality, and Beauty & Inspiration.

GBD Architects' OHSU Center for Health and Healing project in Portland, OR received the Living Building Competition Stepping Stone Award for the Water Petal, as well as acknowledgement of the team's Integrated Design process. According to the judges, "Integrated Design was the design team's triumph; the process fostered an aggressive solution for responsible water use in a project of such scale and complexity." Demonstrated Leadership recognition was conferred on two additional projects: Seminar II in Olympia, WA, by Mahlum Architects for Indoor Quality; and Warren Skaaren Environmental Learning Center at Westcave Preserve in Round Mountain, TX by Jackson & McElhaney Architects for Beauty & Inspiration.

This year's On the Boards Award went to BNIM Architects for the Omega Center for Sustainable Living in Rhinebeck, NY. The judges noted, "It is impressive to see construction documents that embody the metaphor of the flower: the principles of the Living Building Challenge have permeated the process such that all prerequisites are intrinsic to the project's design." Two projects were also recognized for Demonstrated Leadership in the On the Boards category: Alice Ferguson Foundation in Accokeek, MD by M2 Architecture/Re:Vision Architecture; and Kenton Living Building in Portland, OR by SERA Architects.

"The Living Building Challenge serves as a reminder of the lengths still needed to be truly sustainable. While none of these projects have achieved Living Building status, this competition celebrates the highest level of environmental performance currently achieved. It gives me hope for the buildings of the future," says Jason F. McLennan, CEO of Cascadia Region Green Building Council and founder of the Living Building Challenge.

The competition was open to both LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-the green building rating system developed and administered by the USGBC) and non-LEED projects located in the United States only, excluding single-family residential buildings. Projects applying in the "Operational" category must have been in continuous operation for at least twelve months, and projects in design or under construction were eligible for the "On the Boards" award. Award recipients were selected by an expert panel of judges, consisting of Sandy Wiggins, Consilience and Chair of the USGBC Board; Mark Frankel, New Buildings Institute; Clark Brockman, AIA, SERA Architects; and Kath Williams, Ph.D., Kath Williams + Associates.

The winning projects will be featured on the Cascadia website:

About Cascadia Region Green Building Council: The Cascadia Region Green Building Council (Cascadia) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit and one of three original chapters of the US Green Building Council and a member of the Canada Green Building Council. Cascadia is the originator of the Living Building Challenge, and represents Oregon and Washington States and the Province of British Columbia. Its mission is to effect market change toward sustainable building design and manufacturing processes in the Cascadia bioregion.

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Founded in 1977, Omega Institute for Holistic Studies is the nation's most trusted source for wellness and personal growth. As a nonprofit organization, Omega offers diverse and innovative educational experiences that inspire an integrated approach to personal and social change. Located on 250 acres in the beautiful Hudson Valley, Omega welcomes more than 23,000 people to its workshops, conferences, and retreats in Rhinebeck, New York, and at exceptional locations around the world.