For those in the sustainable building field hoping to distinguish themselves with a Living Future Accreditation (LFA), the ILFI has just rolled out a clear path to do so.
There are actually two paths, Path One for those with LEED APs with Specialty, which requires 45 hours of approved education, and Path Two for those who are already certified as a Living Building Challenge/Facilitator, which requires 35 hours of approved education. Additional requirements, including prerequisites can be viewed at the ILFI site.
The LFA must be renewed on a two-year basis. According to Mona LeMoine, Vice-President, Education and Events for the International Living Future Institute and Executive Director of the Cascadia Green Building Council, "Accreditation demonstrates that an individual frames sustainability holistically and understands what is needed to help lead a transformation toward communities that are socially just, culturally rich and ecologically restorative."
LFA's debut includes an on-line education catalog that lists approved programs that in the ILFI's view contributes towards an individual's capacity to understand sustainability in this transformative fashion and would earn hours towards accreditation. If you peruse the inaugural catalog you will see some familiar titles, such as "Emerge: Leadership Skills for Green Building Advocates" and the Sustainable Building Advisor certificate course offered by the SBA Institute.
These partner-offered programs are approved in addition to ILFI-specific training programs (required for the LEED AP Specialty Path) in order to benefit from existing educational resources that already support the comprehensive framing that implementing the Living Building Challenge successfully requires. It also, according to LeMoine helps professionals "avoid the hassle (and cost) of redundant training." Each course listed in the catalog has been curated through an application process similar to those offered by other professional credentialing bodies (such as GBCI).
Kathleen O'Brien is Editor of the Building Capacity Blog and contributes monthly to the DJC Green Building Blog. She has been in the sustainable building field for nearly three decades and currently provides special projects consulting for O'Brien & Company, the firm she founded over twenty years ago, and leadership training and mentoring through her legacy project: The Emerge Leadership Project (ELP). She was instrumental in the development of the Sustainable Building Advisor Program and the SBA Institute (SBAi). If you visit the GreenBuild Expo, you can learn more about both ELP and SBAi at Booth T-34 in the North Building.