Imperative 2: Urban Agriculture

To re-establish a tie between humans and their nourishment, and reconnect communities to the land, since no truly sustainable community can rely on globally sourced food production.

The project must integrate opportunities for agriculture appropriate to its scale and density using the Floor Area Ratio (FAR) as a basis for calculation. The table below outlines the mandatory agricultural requirements for all projects. Single-family homes must also demonstrate the capacity to store at least a two-week supply of

how the Living House complies

With a FAR of 0.25 we need to allocate 30% of our site to urban agriculture. This is going to prove to be a bit of a challenge . I originally thought that this would be easy and that we would be a shoe in with the existing and planned vegetable gardens that we would have on site. However doing some quick calculations show that with the current level of planting that we would have looked to have on the site we would only reach 153m2 of urban agriculture and we need to achieve 216m2. I'm sensing some more vertical gardens and perhaps a chicken run in our future.

Imperative 3: Habitat Exchange

To expand existing thriving wilderness areas and protect them from destruction caused by development and building material extraction.

For each hectare of development, an equal amount of land away from the project site must be set aside in perpetuity through the Institute’s Living Habitat Exchange Program or an approved Land Trust organization. The minimum offset amount is 0.4 hectares.

how the Living House complies

We are not yet sure how we are going to meet the requirements of this imperative. Watch this space for further details in the future. 

Imperative 4: Human Powered Living 

To reduce transportation-related environmental impacts and encourage compact, connected communities that support a productive and rich lifestyle without need of a car.

An assessment of how the residents can reduce their transportation impact through car sharing, use of public transportation, alternative fueled vehicles, or bicycles is required.

how the Living House complies

The Living House is planning on installing an electric car charging point in the double garage. We then plan on backing this up with the purchase of an electric vehicle, trading in our current petrol driven car. 

In addition to this one of the reasons we decided to sub-divide our existing property, rather than seek to purchase a new section in a new subdivision, was due to the fact that we loved our current location. In particular we loved the fact that we are easily able to walk to the shops, doctors, park, beach and the local school. If we had decided to sell our current property and move one of the new subdivisions in Beachlands we would not be able to walk to any of these locations. This was a big driver for us, in particular Rochelle, and should be a key consideration for everyone who is thinking about purchasing land. 

Imperative 1: Limits to Growth

To curb sprawl, restore natural ecosystems and protect productive agricultural lands and ecologically sensitive areas from the negative impacts of development.

Projects may only be built on greyfields or brownfields: previously developed sites that are not classified as on or adjacent to any of the following sensitive ecological habitats:
• Wetlands: maintain at least 15 meters, and up to 70 meters of separation
• Primary dunes: maintain at least 40 meters of separation
• Old-growth forest: maintain at least 60 meters of separation
• Virgin prairie: maintain at least 30 meters of separation
• Prime farmland
• Within the 100-year flood plain

The Living House is located in Beachlands, Auckland and is formed on a subdivision of 2 existing parcels of land. The new dwelling is therefore located on a 'previously developed' parcel of land.

To document our flood plain risk for the Living Building Challenge we logged on to the free Auckland Council GIS viewer and located our site in Auckland. We then enabled the flood catchment layer in the GIS viewer and printed the map shown on the left. This map shows that our new site at the rear of 117a and 119 First View Ave is not in the 100yr flood plain or in the line of an overland flow path. Which is good news. 

When choosing the site for a new house it is always a very good idea to do some investigation around the natural hazards that apply to the potential site. 

how the Living House complies


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