International Living Future Institute’s (ILFI) Core Green Building Certification (CORE)


The ILFI CORE is a simple certification system that outlines ten achievements a building must obtain to be certified: place, transit, water, energy, health, materials, equity, inclusion, biophilia, and inspiration. CORE was established to minimize the gap between the highest levels of established green building certification programs and ILFI’s Living Building Challenge targets.

Structural engineers can help the project team achieve CORE Imperative 6 (Living Building Challenge Imperative 12): Responsible Materials.

This imperative requires:

1) One Declare label per 2150 square feet (200 square meters), for up to 20 distinct products. All other product manufacturers must, at a minimum, receive a letter requesting the manufacturer disclose their ingredients and identify any Red List content.

3) 50% of timber used on the project to be Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified, salvaged, or harvested on-site either for the purpose of clearing the area for construction or to restore or maintain the continued ecological function of the site.

4) 20% or more of material’s construction budget originates within 310 miles (500 kilometers) of the project site. See the ILFI CORE Standard for the definition of the materials construction budget. 

5) The project must divert 80% of construction waste from landfills. 

Therefore, structural engineers will need to update their specifications to convey these requirements to the contractor. Research has shown that timber harvested from responsibly managed forests, like FSC Certified wood, can contribute to a lower embodied carbon footprint than non-certified timber.

International Living Future Institute (ILFI). (2019). Core Green Building Certification (CORE). Seattle, WA. Accessed June 30, 2021.

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