Living Building Challenge

Mā te whenua e kōrero. Starting with an understanding of what the whenua can do.

The Living Pā redevelopment proposes to meet the Living Future Institute’s internationally recognised Living Building Challenge. This is considered the built environment’s most rigorous performance standard. The Living Building Challenge is a certification programme intended to push the marketplace beyond current conceptions of a green building and to transform how we think about our built environment. It asks us to reset standards, to approach building methods with careful and considered methods, and to take more responsibility.

We are seeking to build more than a building—we want a building that talks to our values and tikanga, who we are, and who we are going to be.

The Living Building Challenge is organised into seven performance areas:

Two girls and a boy sitting outside a marae. One of the girls is playing an acoustic guitar and they are all singing.


Restoring a healthy interrelationship with nature.



Operating within the water balance of a given place and climate.

Leaves in a beam of sunlight.


Relying only on current solar income.

Two young men and two young women wearing black t-shirts singing with their arms raised.

Health and happiness

Creating environments that optimise physical and psychological health and wellbeing.

Pair of male hands folding flax leaves.


Endorsing products that are safe for all species through time.

Pile of rocks balancing one on top of the other, with a view of the horizon in the background..


Supporting a just and equitable world.

A man in graduation gown doing the hongi with a young woman wearing a Māori flax dress,


Celebrating design that uplifts the human spirit.

Why Tūhoe built a living building

In rural Tāneatua, Tūhoe Te Uru Taumatua built the first fully certified living building in the Southern Hemisphere. In this video, Kirsti Luke (CEO, Te Uru Taumatua) and Tāmati Kruger (Chair, Te Urewera Board and Te Uru Taumatua) talk about why Tūhoe built a living building, and its benefits and impact.

Pā tūwatawatatia te kura whakaaro—The Living Pā fortifies the vision of our tīpuna in a way that relates to our mokopuna. This is true sustainability.
Te Wehi Wright

Te Wehi Wright, Ngā Ruahine, Ngāti Rangitihi, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Te Wairoa, Ngāti Uenukukōpako and Ngāti Whakaue

Victoria University of Wellington alumna 2017 and Living Pā Ambassador