Almost exactly one year ago, I was forwarded an RFP from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). They sought a consultant to evaluate social equity measures in the Living Building Challenge as they began planning for their new headquarters in Baltimore.

The NAACP has put forth a vision to demonstrate–through their own project–how to center equity and social justice as the foundation of the green building movement.  Certainly, if equity is not at the center of our sustainability efforts, then all of our successes will only sustain inequity. We are thrilled to see the NAACP leading this conversation, and that they have convened the green building movement along with them.

We have been working to support the NAACP through their process by participating in summits, attending events together, and connecting them with resources to help move their project forward. Now, we are excited to help share the next step in their process–their launch of a design competition for their new Equitable Living Building! You can go here to see more about their vision, the program, and register for the design competition!

Written By

Shawn Fisher Hesse

Shawn is a licensed architect, and prior to joining ILFI, led the Boston office of emersion DESIGN, an architecture and sustainability consulting firm. Shawn has over 13 years of project experience with LEED, the Living Building Challenge, and net zero energy projects, and has consulted with Fortune 500 companies and policy makers at all levels of government on issues related to the Living Building Challenge, LEED, net zero building, green building policies, and green jobs. As a trained facilitator, adjunct professor, and Living Building Challenge Ambassador, he has educated more than 5,000 people on issues related to sustainability, high performance building, and social justice in the built environment. As a volunteer, he has led the Living Future Collaborative and USGBC Chapter in Boston, and currently serves on the LEED Social Equity Working Group with USGBC. Shawn is also on the national board of Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility, working to promote human rights through design.