The Living Building Challenge is probably the most stringent green building certification program currently in existence, and includes performance-driven targets that actually give back to the world, rather than just trying to stay neutral or low-energy. The LBC has only 20 'imperatives' to meet, divided into 7 categories, or "Petals". To achieve full Living Building Challenge certification, all 20 imperatives must be met, but there are lower levels of certification like "Petal Certification", where all the imperatives in 3 categories are met. 

The Living Building Challenge Materials Petal consist of 5 imperatives, all which strive to ensure buildings are made out of non-toxic, ecologically regenerative, transparent, and socially equitable materials. 

Imperative 10: The Red List exists to ensure that the building does not contain any harmful ingredients. The Red List is a publicly available list of chemicals and materials which are harmful to either humans or the environment for a variety of reasons. Some of the entries on the Red List have been granted temporary exceptions, because their purpose cannot currently be replicated by other materials. These materials can be used, but under the understanding that they will not be granted exceptions on further products if a less harmful material becomes available for the same purpose. 

Imperative 12: Responsible Industry introduces the Living Future's ingredient labeling program called "Declare". The Declare program has been described as "a nutrition-label for products". It offers a clear and easy to understand label for disclosing ingredients which helps to contribute to full transparency of buildings and their impact on the environment. The Declare label streamlines the Materials Petal requirements by essentially pre-approving products.

There are 3 levels of Declare label certification: Declared means that all of the ingredients of the building material have been accounted for; Red List Compliant means the product contains Red List materials that have been given temporary exceptions; and Red List Free means that there are no harmful materials in the product. Living Building Challenge projects must use at a minimum one Declare product for every 500mof gross building area. 


In the age of green buildings, material ingredient reporting is becoming more common as a way of promoting transparency. The newest LEED rating system, LEED v4, has revamped the old system, updating credits and offering new ones. One such credit in LEED v4 is the Building Product Optimization and Disclosure, Material Ingredients (worth up to 2 points). This credit offers three different pathways (each worth one point) which add to the transparency of the building by optimizing and demonstrating building product ingredients. Option 1 under this credit is “material ingredient reporting,” and states that the building must “use at least 20 different permanently installed products from at least five different manufacturers” that comply with one of the accepted programs for demonstrating the chemical inventory of the product to at least 0.1% (1000ppm). In April 2016, the USGBC accepted the Declare label as an acceptable material ingredient reporting program for these requirements.
Cascadia Windows has two Declare labels: one for our Cascadia Clips, and one for our window lines. We are the only window in existence with a “Red List Free” Declare label. That means that Cascadia directly contributes to achieving full Living Building Certification, or any LBC project aiming for Petal Certification using the materials petal. It also directly contributes to achieving LEED points, if the Declare label is used as part of the material ingredient credit.