Every year, we recognize individuals who have demonstrated a fierce commitment to the Living Building Challenge with their desire to continually raise the bar on behalf of the green building industry.

This year, nine recipients are inspirational in their quest to help safeguard our future.

“We recognize these heroes not for simply doing less harm, but because they are working to create a built environment that is socially just, culturally rich and ecologically restorative,” said Amanda Sturgeon, CEO of the International Living Future Institute. “These individuals have not only adopted the Living Building Challenge – they live its principles and inspire others to do the same.”

This year’s heroes are:

Kirsti Luke

Kirsti is Chief Executive of Tūhoe Te Uru Taumatua, Ngāi Tūhoe’s Tribal Authority. She holds a Bachelor of Law (LLB), is extremely knowledgeable about the tribe’s treaty claims, and was involved in the establishment of Te Uru Taumatua. Her goal is to build the organization and the tribe’s economy and improve descendants’ quality of life. Her role includes recruiting management staff, building relationships with stakeholders and government agencies, developing policies to improve or coordinate options for housing, health and employment for Tūhoe and providing business recommendations to build up the tribe’s economy.

Beth Heider

As Chief Sustainability Officer, Skanska, Elizabeth (Beth), FAIA, and LEED Fellow, translates Skanska’s commitment to sustainability into action while serving on Skanska USA’s Management Team. She’s an everywoman whose touch can be found on all phases of design and construction – from architect to construction manager to sustainability leader. Known for her work making the business case for greenbuilding, including the Living Building Financial Study, she has been invited to present at over 200 international conferences focusing on the nexus of design, sustainability and good business. Beith served for six years on USGBC national Board of Directors, including a stint as chair 2012. She was recently by Green Building & Design as one of the Ten Most Powerful Women in Sustainability, and serves on the Envision Review Board. She’s also Chair of the Board of Trustees for Excel Academy, the first all-girl charter school in the District of Columbia.

Priya Premchandran

Priya is the Team Design and Construction Lead for the Google Real Estate Workplace and Services. She was part of the Google Chicago Renovation project that is a Petal Certified Project. She is responsible for the program’s integration into Google’s global portfolio to deliver healthy and high performing workplaces. Priya brings over 10 years of focused experience in integrating sustainability concepts into high performing projects with a particular focus on understanding the impact and benefits to human health, user experience, and sustainability.

Pete Munoz

Pete is a senior engineer and Cascadia Bioregion leader for Biohabitats who has been lucky enough to work with some of the most influential green building projects in the United States. He’s committed to creating aspirational infrastructure that helps reconnecting our communities with what makes them work. Pete speaks around the country on a variety of topics including green infrastructure, regenerative design, and climate change solutions. He is a partner in the Alliance for Regeneration and he teaches several water related courses at Yestermorrow Design/Build in Warren, Vermont.

Carlo Battisti

Carlo is a sustainable innovation consultant and project manager with more than 20 years of ecosystem construction company experience across the world. He is LEED and WELL Accredited and co-founded the Living Building Challenge Collaborative in Italy. His passion project is co-created 64 hour design contest called REGENERATION for young European professionals, entirely based on the Living Building Challenge.

Jason Jewhurst

An avid outdoorsman from New Hampshire, Jason’s passion for reconnecting with the natural environment informs his work in sustainable and high-performance building design, and the intersection of tested construction traditions and new technologies.As a principal at the architecture firm Bruner/Cott & Associates, he leads design teams to create high-performance contemporary architecture that is beautiful, inspiring, and embodies the shared values of its community. Both the Regenerative Village at Yale Divinity School Master Plan and the R. W. Kern Center at Hampshire College are designed to meet the Living Building Challenge, and his designs for the Institute for Global Citizenship at Minnesota’s Macalester College earned LEED Platinum certification and inspired him to commit more strongly to sustainability. Jason is a founding member of the International Living Future Institute’s East Coast Congress, a think tank for sustainable policy and advocacy.

Jason Forney

Jason is an AIA, LEED AP Principal at Bruner/Cott & Associates who combines creativity with building performance to craft sustainable design solutions. He thrives on connecting the grittiness of our past with the potential of our future, layering old and new in designs that convey a unique sense of place, emphasize environmental responsibility, and reflect client goals. He was instrumental in developing the Yale Divinity School Regenerative Village Master Plan and designing the R.W. Kern Center at Hampshire College in Amherst, both aiming to meet the high standards of the Living Building Challenge. Jason has also designed multiple LEED Gold- and Platinum-certified college campus projects across the country. He has lectured at the Rhode Island School of Design, Harvard University, and the Boston Architectural College and presented at both regional and national AIA conventions.

Scott Kelly

Scott Kelly is co-founder of Re:Vision Architecture leading an interdisciplinary team in designing or consulting on hundreds of innovative green projects, many of which are “firsts” of their kind. Scott has been a champion of Living Building Challenge (LBC) since its inception in 2006. He is the Architect for the LBC Certified project, Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation Environmental Center (Grass) and has brought lessons learned to six other project teams as an LBC Consultant. He is the founder of the LBC Philadelphia Collaborative and has led dozens of educational events — from deep technical workshops on LBC Petals to Charrette Facilitation and to LBC Philadelphia Collaboratives Demonstration Project that involved over 100 building and design professional volunteers.

Jason Gamache

Jason is driven by the daily challenge of living in the polar north; the front line of our rapidly changing environment. A partner at McCool Carlson Green in Anchorage, Alaska, he’s also a licensed Architect in Washington and Hawaii. He’s also worked in Germany exclusively on low energy projects, which embodied design principles of Passive Haus, Net Zero and Cybernetics + Structure. Jason dedicates his work to the development of sustainable building practices; reconnecting indigenous design with modern innovations seeking solutions that are cost-effective, create healthy environments, are energy-efficient, with an overarching goal to eliminate negative environmental impacts, and build sustainable communities. Jason is working on Alaska’s first net positive energy buildings with no combustion fuel source in a pursuit of the Living Building Challenge.

Written By

ILFI Staff

The International Living Future Institute is committed to working toward a future that is socially just, culturally rich and ecologically restorative.