The impact of Living Future Accreditation: Celebrating Bold Actions

Having recently concluded our 15th annual Living Future Conference (LF21), there’s still plenty of renewed energy and motivation swirling around this community. Learning alongside the brilliant, inspiring speakers and so many curious, passionate, and supportive attendees is an inspiring call to take action!

Speaking of which: at this year’s event, ILFI has started a new tradition to celebrate Living Future Accredited individuals who have taken bold action towards a Living Future for all.

Living Future Accreditation (LFA) is the professional credential that recognizes proficiency in the world’s most ambitious, advanced, and holistic sustainable design standards. Furthermore, LFA is not only a credential to display your expertise — it also deepens your knowledge and empowers your work towards making our communities socially just, culturally rich, and ecologically restorative.

Dozens of learners leveraged their LFA in the past year by working on a project team, becoming an Ambassador, and/or speaking at LF21. If you weren’t at the conference, or simply want to relive this celebration, check out the list below. We’ll be expanding it soon to include the full legacy of LFA professionals since 2014 who have applied their credential to make an impact.

  • “I’ve decided to talk to every client about Zero Carbon. France has a national zero carbon goal, and I think ZC is a great tool for getting there. We have (with Vitali Caplain) one registered ZC project, one possible campus and one other interiors project. As a designer, I advocate for companies to seek Just and Declare labels, and as an Ambassador I organize events (webinars lately) to spread the word!” –Lenna Lockwood, LFA in Île-de-France, France 
  • “As an Ambassador, I have presented the Ambassador slide deck to 30+ organizations over the past few years and finally landed my first LBC project in 2021! I also completed the JUST label for our firm a few years ago and renewed under 2.0 this year.” –Lauren McNeill, LFA in Colorado, United States
  • “It has helped me identify various entry points on projects and increase my design vocabulary. This is essential because the Living Building Challenge calls for a fundamental shift in modes of practice. Its novelty is intimidating and carries with it a high perceived pain of adoption. My LFA is helping me navigate this and more.” –Thulani Kuzwayo, LFA in Gauteng, South Africa

  • “I completed a 21,000 ft2 honey processing facility that has been set up to become [Zero Energy Certified] in the next year or so with the addition of solar panels to offset all electrical use. I have been talking with the City Manager … about Living Community Challenge and Living Building Challenge because the City is planning a 70 acre expansion … [they may] build a showcase building as a part of this, and we may be able to use LBC as the certification system for that project. I’ve been educating my clients about the evils of vinyl. So far I’ve talked a few people out of LVT! I’m working on a presentation for my contractor friends to teach them and their employees about LBC.”  –Dee Rosenberg, LFA in California, United States
  • “I stopped talking about it and just designed projects to meet [Core Green Building Certification] whether the client wants it or not. I keep going unless they tell me to stop, then I keep going anyway!” –Scott Kelly, LFA in Pennsylvania, United States
  • “Krueger International has identified and [is] in the process of reducing our carbon footprint. We have reduced our energy consumption by over 10% in 2020. KI is committed to chemical disclosures by adding 12 more DECLARE products to its portfolio.” –Robin Kunstmann, LFA in Wisconsin, United States
  • “I have made several recommendations to arts-related organizations and their leaders to pursue the JUST program.” –Meghan Pursell, LFA in California, United States
  • “Gaining my LFA has helped me to maintain focus on regenerative design in both project work and carbon research. The Living Future community is a supportive resource when I have questions and a source of empowerment in encouraging me to step out and step up. ILFI also helps me to remember that it is okay to share ideas and contribute from wherever I am on a given day. We don’t need all the answers to move forward; we just need to bring what we have to the table and remember that we’re in this together.” –Jesce Walz, LFA in Washington, United States


  • “I have become an internal resource for sustainability and LBC related information in the office.” –Matthew Kirkpatrick, LFA in Oregon, United States
  • “I have used the principles and ideas presented in the LFA training material to help guide higher levels of performance within my firm, that launched this year with a focus on tackling these ideas.” –Andrew Queenan, LFA in Michigan, United States
  • “LFA has provided the tools to help my team of real estate professionals and licensed realtors become agents of change in their communities, deepen their professional knowledge, expand networks, and elevate the dialogue with our/their clients. It’s a cornerstone for our work at Latitude | Regenerative Real Estate. I have also thoroughly enjoyed getting to know my fellow [LFA professionals] around the globe and plan to continue deepening these relationships. It’s a group of folks who I care to work with and spend time with.” –Alissa Collins, LFA in Oregon, United States
  • “I provided education and resources to fellow staff members interested in learning more about the multitude of opportunities with ILFI. I look forward to growing [my local network] and educating our community about the possibilities of ‘what if…’” –Dan Kalkman, LFA in Wisconsin, United States


  • “I’ve led a biophilic workshop – feedback was that it was fun and inspirational! I’m working with our local [ILFI network group] to figure out what good looks like for the volunteer opportunities we have, and the ones we have yet to create. I’m now a regular presenter on Living Buildings and biophilia at a local university (at least 1x per semester lately), which is really exciting, and THE STUDENTS HAVE SUCH GOOD QUESTIONS! It’s so exciting to engage with our future leaders and hear what they’re thinking about.” –Kristen Suzda, LFA in Pennsylvania, United States
  • “[I’ve leveraged my LFA] in making new connections and furthering discussions with other governmental staff on best practices to improve, integrate, and elevate green building methodology and policy.” –James Strand, LFA in California, United States
  • “It’s difficult to summarize how I’ve leveraged my LFA over the past year, because it has had such a profound and far-stretching impact on my life perspective. Earning my LFA was a fundamental turning point for me in what I expect from both my professional projects and my personal lifestyle when I consider what I’m aiming to achieve. It helped me to step outside of the status quo thinking we are so easily stuck in, and to really start to dream again about what is possible. Since earning my LFA, I have felt a shift from designer, to design activist.” Melissa Mattes, LFA in Massachusetts, United States

When you’re ready to join the LFA community and distinguish yourself as a committed and knowledgeable leader, enroll in the LFA Foundational Curriculum

And if you participated in LF21, your journey towards achieving LFA is accelerated! All the education sessions, live or replay, are approved for General LFA CE credits. (LFA requires 36 credits of education (20 Foundational + 16 General) and an active membership.)

We hope you’ll join us next year at LF22, which promises to be another incredible education opportunity — and consider achieving your LFA, as well as taking action by becoming a speaker! The call for LF22 session proposals will open in the coming months.

For more details about LFA, including answers to frequently asked questions, cost and payment options, and LFA achievement and renewal requirements: check out the LFA webpage for our comprehensive LFA Guide.

Written By

Alaïa Giglio

Alaïa works on the Engagement Team, with a focus on Education. She supports delivery of both in-person educational events and on-demand/online education, develops new educational content, and administers the Living Future Accreditation program. More broadly, she also works with our network of Living Future Ambassadors, ILFI Collaboratives, and international affiliates. Originally from southwest Florida, Alaïa graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in biology from Reed College. Her senior thesis analyzed the sustainability of the Columbia River Basin Chinook salmon fishery using Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch guidelines and concluded with recommendations for management. The thesis used this fishery system as an illustrative case study to examine the power of marketing certifications to drive consumer-fueled change in environmental policy—and on that note, Alaïa fully believes in the transformative impact of the Living Future Challenge programs and transparency labels to create communities that are socially just, culturally rich, and ecologically restorative. When not at ILFI, she enjoys spending time in the PNW outdoors running, randonneuring, surfing, and foraging. Indoors, Alaïa maintains her contemporary calligraphy studio, creating wedding stationery and branding collateral for small businesses and teaching workshops.