LCC 1.2 Handbook Exceptions and Clarifications

GUIDANCE

<<THE FOLLOWING CONTENT ORIGINALLY APPEARED IN THE  LCC HANDBOOK 1.2, JUNE 2019>>
How to use this Guidance
This chapter provides guidance for achieving all Imperatives that make up the Living Community Challenge as set forth in the LCC 1.2 Handbook prior to the establishment of the LCC Dialogue. Both this guidance and the Dialogue should be used in conjunction with the Living Community Challenge Standard 1.2 and in some cases, the Living Building Challenge program resources (living-future.org/lbc/resources), including the Standard and seven Petal Handbooks. Petal Handbooks are available with an Institute membership for purchase here (living-future.org/product/lbc-3-1-petal-handbooks). This chapter is organized by Imperatives, where each section includes a list of all Clarifications and Exceptions available at time of Handbook publishing. 

LCC Dialogue
For up to date Clarifications and Exceptions, see the on-line LCC Dialogue: << THIS PAGE>>

Petal Clarifications and Exceptions 

Clarifications and Exceptions consolidate project teams’ program-related inquiries and correspondence with the Institute and the footnotes from the Standard to provide a simplified and consistent set of rules for easy reference. Clarifications are alphabetized and Exceptions are chronologically listed according to time of entry into the program.

Exceptions reflect current regulatory barriers or market realities and are therefore temporary. Exceptions will be phased out over time as regulations are updated and new technologies or materials become available.
Each Exception listed in the Handbook is identified with a unique number. Project teams must reference the appropriate Exception numbers when corresponding with the Institute submitting a Dialogue posts or documentation for audit.

Place

INTENT & REQUIREMENTS
See Living Community Challenge Standard 1.2
01 LIMITS TO GROWTH
CLARIFICATIONS

Emulates the Functionality of Indigenous Ecosystems
Landscapes must be designed so that as it matures and evolves it increasingly emulates the functionality of indigenous ecosystems with regard to density, biodiversity, plant succession, water use, and nutrient needs. It shall also provide wildlife and avian habitat appropriate to the project’s Transect through the use of native and naturalized plants and topsoil. For the purposes for emulated indigenous ecosystems, “landscape” is considered to be planted area outside of the square footage of agricultural cover required, per Imperative 2: Urban Agriculture.

No petrochemical fertilizers or pesticides can be used for the operation and maintenance of the on-site vegetation, including urban agriculture. (See LCC I-01-E7 Petrochemical Inputs in Specialized Agriculture).

Sensitive Ecological Habitats

A project whose purpose it is to protect or interpret one of the sensitive ecological habitats is exempt as long as the site’s ecological systems are not disturbed.

Site Conditions 

The Community must document site conditions prior to the start of work and identify the project’s “reference habitat(s).” Project Teams can use the WWF Wildfinder tool and/or other research tool(s) to identify the project’s “reference habitat(s).”

Wetlands

Minimum buffer widths vary, depending on the wetland classification.

EXCEPTIONS
LCC I01-E1 02/2015 Greenfields Surrounded by Development & Growth Management 

Greenfield communities that are immediately adjacent to sites developed before 12/31/2007 on at least 75% of the project boundary are allowed. The surrounding development must abut the Community, but can consist of multiple, non-contiguous developments. Alternatively, greenfields around which the contiguous sites are not developed may be developed on a case-by-case basis when the majority of the surrounding half-kilometer area is developed. 

Communities planned for and proposed to be developed at densities of at least L-4 under jurisdiction-sanctioned Growth Management Plan ratified before 5/31/2014 are allowed. The Growth Management Plan must define a long-term urban/rural line based on planned growth capacity of the overall planned area. (Related to LBC I01-E3 10/2012 Greenfield Surrounded by Development)
LCC I01-E2 05/2014  Farming 

Communities that have a primary purpose related to farming or are a working farm may build within prime farmland or the 100-year floodplain. Project teams must provide at least one legal and one economic document to prove the Community is currently operating as an agricultural zone. (Related to LBC I01-E9 4/2010 Farming)

LCC I01-E3 05/2014  Working Ports, Docks, Landscapes and Infrastructure in 100-Year Floodplain

Working ports, docks, and all of the Community’s landscape and infrastructure projects may build within the 100-year floodplain. Project teams must provide at least one legal and one economic document to prove the site is currently operating. (Related to LBC I01-E10 4/2010 Working Ports or Docks)

LCC I01-E4 05/2014  Historic Communities

Communities and sites that are part of the Community that are part of an existing historic development prior to 1945 may build within the 100-year floodplain. The project team must show that the Community is either on a site that was developed by 1945, or outside of the floodplain. See I01-E5 for further background. (Related to LBC I01-E11 4/2010 Historic Communities)

LCC I01-E5 05/2014  Floodplain-L5/L6 Transects

Projects in L5 or L6 may build within the 100-year floodplain.

The purpose of the Historic Community and L5/L6 Transect Exception is to encourage, rather than to disallow, projects in core areas of a community where support infrastructure and services are already robust. Early city development often was in close proximity to waterways to ease opportunities for trade and deliveries to support commerce and industry. (Related to LBC I01-E12 4/2010 Floodplain-L5/L6 Transects)
Note: Exceptions I01-E4 and E5 support development in these existing areas, rather than encouraging new projects on the outskirts of town, which would not only dilute the cultural history of the historic core, but also add unnecessary infrastructure development.
LCC I01-E6 05/2017  Sites Designated for Increased Density

A community with proposed L3 - L6 density and located within an urban growth boundary may develop on:

Prime farmland sites or sites that are not classified as on or adjacent to any of the following sensitive ecological habitats (separation distances detailed in Imperative 01 Limits to Growth must be maintained):
  • wetlands
  • primary dunes
  • old-growth forest
  • virgin prairie
  • within the 100-year flood plain
Provided that the community:
  • Implements on-site landscape requirements of Imperative 01 Limits to Growth: ‘as it matures and evolves it increasingly emulates the functionality of indigenous ecosystems with regard to density, biodiversity, plant succession, water use, and nutrient needs, 
  • Achieves the Place Petal, 
  • Achieves the Health & Happiness Petal, 
  • Is served by at least one public transit route (e.g. ferry, train, light rail, bus rapid transit) within 1 kilometer from every point in the Community, and 
  • Does not exceed a maximum percentage of any single occupancy type within the community - shall not exceed 60%•Provides residential dwelling units and a diversity of essential components of livability to create a walkable community. 

A community may:

  • Provide residential dwelling units and a minimum of 10 (no more than 2 components may be the same category) essential components of livability, such as: grocery store, restaurant, community center, library, day care, educational facilities, cultural facilities (theater, religious), services (post office, bank), medical /dental facility, retail

OR

  • Provide residential dwelling units and achieve a Walk Score of 80 or above

LCC I-01-E7 06/2019 Petrochemical Inputs in Specialized Agriculture
Petrochemical derivatives that are approved for use within both the National Organic Program’s National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (NOP 205.600 - 205.619) and the California Land Stewardship Institute’s Fish Friendly Farming Certification may be used in specialized agricultural production, such as commercial viniculture, because no viable alternatives are available.
(Related to LBC I01-E14 8/2015 Petrochemical Inputs in Specialized Agriculture)

02 URBAN AGRICULTURE

CLARIFICATIONS

Calculating Floor Area Ratio (F.A.R.)

F.A.R. is based on Master Plan density of existing (if applicable) plus proposed build out. 

EXCEPTIONS

LCC I02-E1 5/2014 Sensitive Ecological Habitats

There is an exception for projects whose primary purpose is related to protection or interpretation of sensitive ecological habitats, as defined in Imperative 01: Limits to Growth, in order to avoid introducing elements that could compromise or threaten the viability of the existing bio-network. (Related to LBC I02-E1 11/2009 Sensitive Ecological Habitats)

LCC I02-E2 4/2016 Ecological Research Facilities in Transect L1

Communities whose primary purpose is related to the protection or interpretation of sensitive ecological habitats, as defined in Imperative 01 Limits to Growth, and where any previously impacted, replanted areas are to be used for scientific or research purposes, do not need to provide the minimum required agriculture as listed in I02 Urban Agriculture. (Related to LBC I02-E1 11/2009 Sensitive Ecological Habitats)

03 HABITAT EXCHANGE
CLARIFICATIONS
None at this time.
EXCEPTIONS
LCC I03-E1 05/2016  Conservation and Parks Organizations

Communities that are primarily a park and communities with nonprofit owners whose mission is to preserve and protect natural habitats may comply through either of the following paths: a. Purchase, by the owner, of a new area of land that is placed into a conservation easement in perpetuity. The new land area must be part of, or contiguous with, a minimum of 100 acres of intact, high value ecosystems also in a conservation easement set aside in perpetuity. b. Allocation, as a part of this community, of an area of the owner’s existing property into a new conservation easement in perpetuity (cannot be an existing conservation easement). The new easement must be part of or contiguous with a minimum of 100 acres of intact and high value ecosystems that are set-aside in perpetuity. c. Protection, within the five years prior to construction of the community, of at least 1000 acres of land to be protected in perpetuity through direct purchase, advocacy, or fundraising efforts. 

A community pursuing alternative compliance paths must provide the following documentation for the required acreage: 

  • An official receipt and contract
  • Documentation that the easement is part of or contiguous with no less than 100 continuous acres protected in perpetuity from development
  • Documentation of provisions for ongoing stewardship
  • A land-use site plan indicating the area of projected development within the context of the larger community boundary. Adjacent property functions should also be noted.

(Related to LBC I03-E1 01/2013 Conservation and Parks Organizations)

04 HUMAN-POWERED LIVING
CLARIFICATIONS
None at this time.

EXCEPTIONS

None at this time.

Water

INTENT & REQUIREMENTS 
See Living Community Challenge Standard 1.2 
05 NET POSITIVE WATER
CLARIFICATIONS
None at this time.
EXCEPTIONS LCC I05-E1 5/2014 Municipal Potable Water Supply

If health or utility regulations require a project to use municipal potable sources, it is allowed, but only for potable uses including sinks, faucets, janitorial uses, and showers. Non-potable uses such as irrigation, toilet flushing, clothes washing, and equipment uses must use water sourced from the project site. While it is not required, the project is encouraged to include full rainwater harvesting capacity in anticipation of future regulatory acceptance of additional rainwater use.

To use this Exception the project team must exhaust all regulatory appeals short of legal appeals. In addition, the team must demonstrate through design drawings and calculations how the Community is designed to meet the requirement for 100% site-sourced water. (Related to LBC I05-E1 4/2010 Municipal Potable Water Supply)

Energy

INTENT & REQUIREMENTS
See Living Community Challenge Standard 1.2
06 NET POSITIVE ENERGY
CLARIFICATIONS
None at this time.
EXCEPTIONS
LCC I06 E1 10/2017  Combustion in Parks

Outdoor combustion-based cooking by visitors (not businesses for regular use) will be allowed if the following are true for the community:

  • Site is located in an L3-L6 Transect.
  • Site is publicly accessible.
  • Cooking sources (e.g. barbecue) that would typically be furniture, fixtures and equipment that have no permanent connection to the structure of a building or utilities except they are affixed to prevent theft.
  • The fuel (e.g. charcoal, wood) is supplied by the visitor.
  • Areas that meet the EPA 2012 PM2.5 primary annual fine particle standard of 12 micrograms per cubic meter (ug/m3) (e.g. areas not on the “non-attainment” list), or international equivalent.
The cooking sources must be away from any regularly occupied spaces. The community must show efforts through a narrative to minimize air quality impacts and limit the quantity of cooking sources, as well as how the community will halt the use of combustion-based cooking during any time that the area temporarily exceeds the EPA 2012 PM 2.5 Standard. Combustion fuel connections (e.g. hard-piped natural gas to barbecues) are not allowed. (Related to LBC I06-E5 8/2011 Ornamental Fireplace in Transects L1, L2, and L3).
LCC I06 E2 03/2018 Combustion campfire in Transects L1, L2, and L3

In the limited instances where development is allowed in Transects L1 - L3, it is acceptable to install an exterior campfire used for community gatherings because ecological impacts are minimal, fuel supply is sustainably sourced, and there is a strong cultural importance that contributes to community-building, belonging, and gathering.

Exterior campfire (or fire pit) will be allowed for Communities that are in areas that meet the EPA 2012 PM2.5 primary annual fine particle standard of 12 micrograms per cubic meter (ug/m3) (e.g. areas not on the “non-attainment” list) or international equivalent.

The campfire or fire pit must meet the following requirements:

  • Must not be used as a primary heating source but rather as a space for ceremony and gathering
  • May not be used for commercial cooking
  • Have no permanent connection to the structure of a building or utilities except they are affixed and/or built into the landscape (e.g. fuel is wood, not hard-piped natural gas)
  • Must limit the quantity of campfire or fire pit locations
  • The campfire must a minimum of 25 ft away from any building
The Community must show efforts through a narrative to minimize air quality impacts as well as how the community will halt the use of the campfire during any time that the area temporarily exceeds the EPA 2012 PM 2.5 Standard. 
In order to use this Exception you must submit a narrative prior to LCC Master Plan submittal describing the project’s need for the Exception, the approach to and implementation of the alternative solution, and compliance with Exception requirements must demonstrate: •Sustainably sourced fuel supply
  • The Community is not included in the “non-attainment” list
  • Ceremony and gathering as a primary use
  • Not used for commercial cooking
  • No permanent connection to the structure of a building or utilities
  • The proposed quantity of campfire or fire pit locations provided is limited and reasonable
  • The campfire is at least 25 ft away from any building.

(Related to LBC I06-E5 8/2011 Ornamental Fireplace in Transects L1, L2, and L3).

Health & Happiness

INTENT & REQUIREMENTS
See Living Community Challenge Standard 1.2
07 CIVILIZED ENVIRONMENT
CLARIFICATIONS
Staff Positions

The number of positions will vary with the size of the Community.

EXCEPTIONS

None at this time.

08 HEALTHY NEIGHBORHOOD DESIGN

CLARIFICATIONS

Health and Wellness Education Plan Details are forthcoming on the Living Community Challenge website. 

Resources:

- See the BUILD Health Challenge plan and the Seattle Chinatown-International District 2020 Healthy Community Action Plan as a similar plan example.

- buildhealthchallenge.org/ interimicda.org/whatwedo/healthy-communities-program/

EXCEPTIONS

None at this time.

09 BIOPHILIC ENVIRONMENT

CLARIFICATIONS

None at this time.

EXCEPTIONS

None at this time.

10 RESILIENT COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS

CLARIFICATIONS

None at this time.

EXCEPTIONS

None at this time.

Materials

INTENT & REQUIREMENTS

See Living Community Challenge Standard 1.2

11 LIVING MATERIALS PLAN
CLARIFICATIONS
Living Materials Implementation Plan 

The Living Materials Implementation Plan shall cover the following types of spaces within the Community:

  1. Community Common Infrastructure and Landscapes
  2. Community Buildings Pursuing LBC
  3. Community Buildings Not Pursuing LBC – Renovations and New Construction
  4. Other Development - Buildings Not Under the Ownership of the Community
1. Community Common Infrastructure and Landscapes

For common infrastructure (All improvements within rights of way, e.g. public or commonly owned areas, streets, bike lanes, sidewalks, plazas, lanes, parks and open space, etc.) and landscapes that the Community controls and is in charge of developing, the Living Materials Implementation Plan must require products to comply with LBC Imperatives:

  • I10: Red List
  • I12: Responsible Industry
  • I13: Living Economy Sourcing
2.Community Buildings Pursuing LBC

For projects developed or renovated by the community that are required to pursue the Living Building Challenge (See page 15 of LCC Standard), Materials Petal requirements are described under the Living Building Challenge Standard.

3.Community Buildings Not Pursuing LBC – Renovations and New Construction

For community owned buildings that are not pursuing the Living Building Challenge and other buildings not owned by the community, the Community’s Living Materials Implementation Plan must include a Purchasing Policy incorporating the three LBC Imperatives (I10: Red List, I12: Responsible Industry, I13: Living Economy Sourcing) used in the Community’s purchasing.

The Purchasing Policy:

  • Identifies primary renovation and construction products* (for each major building type: office, residential, retail, etc.) that are compliant with the LBC Imperatives
  • These are the major building products such as: paint, carpet, framing lumber, insulation, wall board, wall coverings, floor coatings, etc.
  • Suggest Red List free, Responsible Industry and Living Economy Sourcing materials in the Community’s Design Guidelines
  • Suggest Red List free, Responsible Industry and Living Economy Sourcing materials in the Community’s specifications
  • In the situation where the community does not own or develop any buildings, the plan will highlight only the primary renovation and construction products for the other buildings.
4. Other Development - Buildings Not Under the Ownership of the Community

The Community must advocate early in the design and development phases for other buildings not owned or developed by the community to utilize the Purchasing Policy, by:

  • Advocating to incorporate the Purchasing Policy (see #3 above) in the other buildings’ new construction and renovation specification

Sample structure of a Living Materials Implementation Plan: Types of spaces covered by the plan:

  • Community Common Infrastructure and Landscapes
  • Community Buildings Pursuing LBC
  • Community Buildings Not Pursuing LBC – Renovations and New Construction
  • Other Development - Buildings Not Under the Ownership of the Community

Reference requirements of the Living Building Challenge Imperatives (I10: Red List, I12: Responsible Industry, I13: Living Economy Sourcing):

  • Community Common Infrastructure and Landscapes
  • Community Buildings Pursuing LBC

Purchasing Policy

  • Community Buildings Not Pursuing LBC – Renovations and New Construction 
  • Other Development - Buildings Not Under the Ownership of the Community

Advocacy

  • Other Development - Buildings Not Under the Ownership of the Community

EXCEPTIONS

None at this time.

12 EMBODIED CARBON FOOTPRINT

CLARIFICATIONS

Embodied Carbon Calculators Refer to the current Living Building Challenge Materials Petal Handbook at time of registration for a list of approved carbon calculators.

EXCEPTIONS LCC I12-E1 8/2008 Existing Communities, Buildings & Infrastructure Renovations 

The amount of carbon offsets required may be reduced by 50% for renovations of existing buildings and infrastructure (such as streets) and 100% for the reuse of existing buildings and infrastructure. Project teams need to demonstrate that the percentage of reduction is appropriate based on the extent of project work and the calculator selected. (Related to LBC I11-E1 8/2008 Renovation Offset Reduction) 

LCC I12-E2 05/2016 Surplus Renewable Energy

A Community’s surplus renewable energy, if it is returned to the grid for use by others, can be used to satisfy an equivalent portion of the Community’s required carbon offsets. The team must document the surplus energy during the twelve-month performance period and convert the kWh to tCO2e using the EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator. The resulting tCO2e may then be deducted from the Community’s Embodied Carbon Footprint offset requirement. (Related to LBC I11-E2 Surplus Renewable Energy)

13 NET POSITIVE WASTE

CLARIFICATIONS

None at this time.

EXCEPTIONS

None at this time.

Equity

INTENT & REQUIREMENTS

See Living Community Challenge Standard 1.2

14 HUMAN SCALE + HUMANE PLACES

CLARIFICATIONS

None at this time.

EXCEPTIONS 

None at this time. 

15 UNIVERSAL ACCESS TO NATURE & PLACE CLARIFICATIONS  

None at this time. 

EXCEPTIONS 

None at this time. 

16 UNIVERSAL ACCESS TO COMMUNITY SERVICES 

CLARIFICATIONS 

None at this time. 

EXCEPTIONS 

None at this time.

17 EQUITABLE INVESTMENT
CLARIFICATIONS
None at this time.
EXCEPTIONS
None at this time.

18 JUST ORGANIZATIONS

CLARIFICATIONS

None at this time.

EXCEPTIONS

None at this time.

Beauty

INTENT & REQUIREMENTS
See Living Community Challenge Standard 1.2
19 BEAUTY & SPIRIT
CLARIFICATIONS
None at this time.
EXCEPTIONS
None at this time.
20 INSPIRATION & EDUCATION
CLARIFICATIONS
None at this time.
EXCEPTIONS
None at this time.

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