Living Building Challenge

First Steps Count has accepted the opportunity to build the Centre according to the Living Building Challenge framework. The Living Building Challenge aims to ensure that each project delivers outcomes that are positive and regenerative, creating spaces that reconnect occupants with nature. We believe that this philosophy aligns perfectly with the aims of the First Steps Count Child and Community Centre. The proposed building and landscape will be sensitive and responsive to its environment and serve as a place of enjoyment and beauty.

What is it?

Biophilic design is the practice of connecting people and nature within our built environments and communities.

“Biophilic design is a requirement of the Living Building Challenge – the world’s most rigorous certification that calls for the creation of buildings that operate as efficiently and beautifully as nature’s architecture”

The Living Building Challenge consists of seven performance categories, or “petals”: Place, Water, Energy, Health and Happiness, Materials, Equity and Beauty. All of these aspects, considered together, will create a building that is special and unique to the Manning Valley.

Building according to the Living Building Challenge is encouraging us to think carefully about ensuring the design of the Centre and landscaping contributes positively to the health and wellbeing of the community and people who work in the building. In addition, it encourages us to think about how we will work once the Centre is operational – considering the materials we use, waste management, production and use of food and other environmental considerations.

A Biophilic Design workshop was held in May 2018 in Taree, inviting key stakeholders to develop ideas that will support the project with regard to Biophilic design.

Why are we doing it?

Why are we doing it?

Building according to the Living Building Challenge is encouraging us to think carefully about ensuring the design of the Centre and landscaping contributes positively to the health and wellbeing of the community and people who work in the building. In addition, it encourages us to think about how we will work once the Centre is operational – considering the materials we use, waste management, production and use of food and other environmental considerations.

A Biophilic Design workshop was held in May 2018 in Taree, inviting key stakeholders to develop ideas that will support the project with regard to Biophilic design.

The Centre will:

  • Help restore the land it is on and create beautiful gardens with indigenous and other plants (including community gardens) that will increase the biodiversity of the site
  • Capture and use rainwater for many uses across the site
  • Create a naturally comfortable and efficient building that will provide all its (very reduced) energy needs through clean power made from panels on the roof
  • Have clean, fresh air inside where natural ventilation and views to the garden can be enjoyed
  • Use local, non-toxic materials that will be assembled by a diverse group of local people
  • Enable occupants to recycle easily as they use the building
  • Provide accessible pathways and places across the whole site
  • Embellish the building and gardens with contributions from artists that celebrate local stories
  • Provide many ideas for all who visit (actually or virtually) about how they can make their own buildings better

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