ARCHITECT's Symone Garvett takes a look at the Desert Rain House, an unassuming wood house located in Bend, Ore., that became the first single-family complex to achieve Living Building Challenge (LBC) certification late last year.
Designed by local Oregon firm Tozer Design, the 4,810-square-foot, single-story home is constructed entirely out of locally sourced materials. Its only water source is precipitation, and a graywater system treats used water from everything except toilets and dishwashers for irrigation.
The LBC program, developed by the International Living Future Institute, identifies net-zero energy and water buildings that positively impact their environment. A new building must pass 20 imperatives in seven performance areas—place, water, energy, health and happiness, materials, equity, and beauty—and sustain them for more than a year.