This piece from Metropolis describes the Living Building Challenge as "a rating system from the Cascadia Region Green Building Council, whose 16 design imperatives (not options) makes the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED credits look like something drawn up by Exxon. The Center for Sustainable Living is on track to be one of the country's first Living Buildings, along with an ecology facility at Missouri's Washington University. (Both opened in May, but they have to operate for a year before earning certification.)
Think of the Living Building Challenge as a Port Huron Statement for the green age. Its motto, 'No credits, just prerequisites,' rebukes the moderate incrementalism of LEED, which favors plaques and incentives over soup-to-nuts sustainability."
With about 60 buildings already involved in the system, its creators are hoping that their different approach will inspire the U.S. Green Building Council to update its LEED rating methodology.