MSR Design Raises Sustainability Standard with New Minneapolis Office

Photos by Lara Swimmer

Those interested in building and remodeling sustainably are familiar with certification programs ranging from Energy Star to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), but the Living Building Challenge (LBC), a program of the International Living Future Institute (ILFI), is altogether different. The most rigorous green building standard in the U.S., the LBC uses a “petal” system—yes, think of a flower—that challenges architects and builders in seven areas: place, water, energy, health and happiness, materials, equity, and beauty.

In the design of MSR Design’s new studio at 510 Marquette in Minneapolis, the residential and commercial architecture firm landed the first Minnesota project to earn the LBC’s Petal Certification for achieving the materials, equity, and beauty petals.

The latter, for instance, recognizes the studio’s fresh, contemporary design in an existing space. A biophilic sculpture by Alexandra Peyton-Levine integrates construction waste with dried flowers and foliage. “Achieving petal certification for our workplace represents MSR’s commitment to creating a just, sustainable world through our practice and projects,” said design CEO Traci Lesneski.

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