Product transparency documentation helps earn Living Building Challenge status

ASSA ABLOY commitment to Declare helps builders go Green and owners to protect people and the planet.

The Living Building Challenge (LBC) is one of the most rigorous sustainable building certification programs in the construction industry, encouraging manufacturer transparency about ingredients in their products.

The team at Wright Builders in Massachusetts prides themselves on keeping up with green building trends and guidelines, and say the LBC project they undertook for the R.W. Kern Center at Hampshire College – a $7.8 million, 17,000 square foot campus gateway, classroom and admissions facility – was the most difficult project to date.

While Wright Builders spent months sourcing components and ingredient lists from manufacturers to ensure they met standards, working with ASSA ABLOY was seamless because of the manufacturer’s commitment to providing Declare labels, which provide an easy-to-read ingredient list for each product.

“Having companies like ASSA ABLOY declare that they meet standards, and provide ingredient lists, was an incredible help,” said Andrew Solem, Assistant Project Manager for Wright Builders. “The labels allow architects, designers, specifiers, and builders to know immediately whether or not that product will meet most green building programs and guidelines, including the Living Building Challenge.”

For the Kern Center, ASSA ABLOY provided Ceco doors, Corbin Russwin locks and exit devices, McKinney hinges, Norton operators, Pemko accessories, and Rockwood pulls and accessories.

“Progressive buildings that are healthy and efficient are becoming an expectation,” said Amy Vigneux, Director of Sustainable Building Solutions at ASSA ABLOY Door Security Solutions. “Transparency efforts by manufacturers reflect the need of an industry that is determined to push the envelope in a positive direction.”

The LBC certification of the Kern Center is pending as the building’s performance will be reviewed after one year of operation. For Hampshire College, the result is already one of the world’s most environmentally transparent buildings, recognized by the American Institute of Architects and National Geographic as one of the top 10 green buildings of 2017.

“It speaks to our values of sustainability and social justice,” said Carl Weber, Director of Facilities and Grounds at Hampshire College. “The LBC looks at removing materials that adversely affect people. This is the right thing to do both for the planet and for people.”