The Lloyd Center’s Living Building

May 1, 2023
The Lloyd Center’s new Welcome Center is a cutting-edge, 900-square foot building designed to meet the Living Building Challenge™ (LBC™), the most stringent building standard in the world. The LBC™ requirements include educational mandates as the building and the site must show case, for users and the public, the on-going restorative principals through design elements: renewable energy, no Red List toxic chemicals, reclaimed rainwater, composting toilets, rain gardens, and agricultural offset land.

In keeping with the Lloyd Center mission of sustainability education, the New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School (VOC) students have been involved since the beginning in building the Welcome Center as part of their training.  This arrangement has been hugely successful. The students have been excited to work on a significant, environmentally responsible facility of the future.  Their instructors have been pleased to have their students exposed to advanced standards, materials, equipment, and construction techniques.  And the workmanship of the students under the direction of our architect and VOC instructors has been outstanding!

The Lloyd Center LBC™ Welcome Center is renowned as the only facility at this level of environmental excellence built by students.

The construction of the building has been challenging in many ways:

  • Every standard of construction and every material (from the smallest screw to the largest solar panel) must meet the complexity of the Living Building Challenge™ – a needed item does not involve a quick trip to the store!
  • Every material in the building must also be locally sourced as much as possible.
  • The VOC student and instructor participation was delayed during two years of the pandemic.
  • All aspects of the project have experienced significant financial increases – for example, the 300% increase in lumber prices.
  • Town and state permits had to be altered to address the innovative, new nature of the building and of the needed approval processes in order to obtain necessary permits.
  • The Center had to transition to fulfilling the requirement for a public water supply with a new well, new treatment processes, and new equipment.
  • LBC™ certification is only attained after completion and a full-year of operating success.

In undertaking the challenge of seeking LBC™ certification as one of a handful of buildings in the Northeast US and of only 25 buildings in the world, the Lloyd Center committed to a project unique to New England that will align with and enhance the level of excellence already integral to our outstanding environmental education programs.  Providing the first point of contact for the Center’s thousands of students and visitors, it will be a building that “speaks”. Its advanced systems will provide a “living laboratory” for every age and a demonstration of the possibility of construction that does not denigrate our sensitive Buzzards Bay watershed.  Undertaking this project, the Lloyd Center is not only accepting local and environmental responsibility, but agreeing to help others in developing both sustainable buildings and the environmental education programs associated with them.  The Certification Process also creates opportunities for ongoing and innovative collaborations with other non-profits.

The Lloyd Center’s Living Building Challenge™ has been an adventure!  Through the construction process and the future welcoming of every visitor, young and old, to our campus, this facility will continue to provide new avenues to understanding the many local and global ways in which the Center innovates, augments and shares its environmental excellence.

We anticipate that the Welcome Center will officially open later this year.

We look forward to hosting your visits.