UOW engineer and project manager Lance Jeffery has been recognised for his role in pushing the boundaries of design and construction of the Sustainable Buildings Research Centre (SBRC).

The recently completed SBRC building at UOW’s Innovation Campus is Australia’s first candidate for the International Living Future Institute’s (ILFI) Living Building Challenge (LBC).

It was built according to LBC’s exacting standards, which calls for the creation of building projects that operate as cleanly, beautifully and efficiently as nature’s architecture.

Certification as a Living Building requires that a project meet 20 rigorous criteria or ‘imperatives’, including net zero energy, waste and water, and a minimum of 12 months of continuous occupancy and monitoring before accreditation.

Mr Jeffery was one of eight people presented Heroes Awards at ILFI’s UnConference 2014, in Portland, Oregon, this month for their “unwavering commitment to the building industry’s most rigorous performance standard”.

ILFI vice president and Living Building Challenge manager Amanda Sturgeon said the recipients were saluted for continually challenging how projects were designed, the type of materials specified and how the construction is performed.

ILFI recognised the eight winners for their tireless efforts in not only adopting the standards of the challenge, but also leading by example in rethinking design and construction principles to change the business-as-usual approach.

“I wager that in the not-too-distant future, people beyond the built environment will remember these people as pioneers in the growing global efforts to combat climate change, lower health risks and right social justice wrongs,” Ms Sturgeon said.

For more than eight years LBC has inspired significant change in how buildings are designed, built, refurbished and operated.

To date six buildings worldwide have been all or partially certified under the challenge.

Under the guidance of Director Professor Paul Cooper, the SBRC is a flagship research centre that brings together researchers from many disciplines to address challenges in making buildings more sustainable, with a particular focus on breathing new life into old buildings.

Professor Cooper said the award was extremely well deserved recognition of Mr Jeffery’s commitment, capability and hard work on the SBRC building project, and testimony to the approach taken to building a research centre that itself embodies the philosophies SBRC is championing.

“The Living Building Challenge provided us with a clear framework with which to realise our vision of bringing into being a building that we could look back on, from at least 10 years into the future, and know that we raised the sustainability bar significantly and challenged current approaches to sustainable building design,” he said.