Jason F. McLennan, founder of the nonprofit that created the world's most stringent program for the certification of green buildings, is leaving his post as CEO of the International Living Future Institute to practice architecture. Beginning Jan. 1, Amanda Sturgeon, ILFI's executive director, takes McLennan's place.
The seven-person McLennan Design will concentrate on "deep-green projects" that are transformative, says the 42-year-old McLennan. "I'm hoping to spit out innovation after innovation," adds McLennan, who will continue as ILFI's unpaid chairman of the board.
The firm also will attempt to donate about 20% of its time to the projects of its charitable arm, the Green Warrior Society. "We will have two halves," McLennan says. "We will work with clients that have means to do just about anything—and see breakthroughs. That for-profit work, in essence, will underwrite charitable work, where fees will either be reduced or waived."
Two Green Warrior projects are the William Jefferson Clinton Children's Center, which is an orphanage in Haiti, and Save a Warrior Village, a Kansas City, Mo., project that will help U.S. veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.
ILFI runs the Living Building Challenge, Living Community Challenge, Living Product Challenge, Net Zero Energy Building Certification and other programs. Its most high-profile project is Seattle's 52,000-sq-ft Bullitt Center. ILFI is a tenant in the speculative office building, which sustainability experts consider the world's greenest building.
The goal of the eco-friendly buildings group is to scale up its programs and spread them to a broader audience. "Living Buildings should be possible for everyone, not just the wealthy," Sturgeon says.
To that end, the group has 11 pilot projects with affordable-housing developers, including Enterprise Communities.