The Seattle City Council approved Monday a pilot program to encourage the creation of living buildings. The full council also approved a series of design changes for midrise and highrise developments.

The pilot project will allow up to 12 unique “living buildings” to be developed in Seattle over the next three years. The new law lets the Department of Planning and Development grant exceptions to Seattle’s land use code to help developers meet living building standards.

Buildings taking advantage of the pilot program will compete in the Living Building Challenge, sponsored by the International Living Building Institute, and must meet at least 60 percent of the challenge’s prerequisites. The first living building project, proposed for Capitol Hill, could be built in 2010.

The Living Building Challenge is a program initially launched and continues to be operated by the Cascadia Region Green Building Council (a chapter of both the US Green Building Council and Canada Green Building Council) and has quickly become the most advanced green building rating system in the world.

Read more at the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce ..