Michael R. Klement, AIA, is the principal of Architectural Resource, LLC, an Ann Arbor firm devoted exclusively to residential design.

Until now we have accepted contemporary built form as transgression upon the natural world. We have accepted that our buildings would be toxic vessels of ecological destruction powered by ancient sunlight leaving a legacy of environmental waste. The Living Building Challenge asks the audacious question: What if Nature designed our homes? What would they look like? How would they perform? How would they engage the ecology around them?

The answer can be found in one of nature’s simplest acts of brilliance: a flower. A flower uses current sunlight as its energy source; it uses rain from the sky or water stored in the ground nearby; it uses only immediately available non-toxic, sustainably-obtained raw materials to create and nurture itself; it enhances and improves the ecological system it occupies; it embodies beauty; and lastly, it creates no waste.

In Burh Becc at Beacon Springs, we have created a home which reaches far beyond “green” or even “sustainable,” and is the second residence in the world to achieve full Living Building Challenge certification.

AIA: Principal