Living Product Expo Issues Challenge

Living Product Expo 2016

The Living Product Expo is now in its second year, and to step up the game, the expo’s focus has shifted from inspiration to action. The highlight this year will be prototypes for new, sustainable products that adhere to the rules of the Living Product Challenge as conceived by the International Living Future Institute.

At last year’s event, sustainability experts from some of the world’s leading design firms, sustainability consultancies and materials manufacturers came together to share their innovations in product design, and this year, exhibitors and attendees have an opportunity to share ideas and technologies reshaping how materials are designed, produced and delivered.

The Living Product Expo is anchored by a new voluntary standard known as the Living Product Challenge 1.0: A Visionary Path to a Regenerative Future. The basic premise behind the standard is to design and construct materials and products that “function as elegantly and efficiently as anything found in the natural world.”

Products are judged based on seven performance categories known as Petals:

  1. Place
  2. Water
  3. Energy
  4. Health and Happiness
  5. Materials
  6. Equity
  7. Beauty

In addition, each petal is subdivided into imperatives, of which there are currently 20. Products may receive Imperative Certification by meeting the requirements for each imperative, Petal Certification by meeting all of the imperatives in one petal and Living Product Certification by satisfying all 20 imperatives of the seven Petals. However, the Living Future Institute stresses that the challenge is primarily a philosophy and advocacy tool while the certification program is tertiary.

Early adopters of this standard are known as the Living Product 50, which are leading manufacturers who have adopted the philosophy in order to transform the materials industry through “transparency, green chemistry and supply-chain innovation.” Members of this elite group include Division 9 Wood, Construction Specialties, MAPEI Adhesives, Sirewall, Tarkett and View.

The Living Product Expo 2016 will take place September 13 through September 15 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, Pa. Exhibitors will include Coldspring, Columbia Forest Products, Forbo Flooring Systems, Mohawk Industries, Prosoco, ThermaCork and many more.

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