Archives: Legal Developments

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Suing But Not Because it was Not a Green Building

Haywood Community College
With the maturation of the green building industrial complex it has become clear there is no more or additional liability associated with constructing a green building versus a similar non green structure. But, the claims that have resulted in much of the recent litigation involving green building projects are different from those in other construction … Continue Reading

Lawsuit over First LEED Platinum Building is Over

Image David Harp/ Chesapeake Bay Foundation Image David Harp/ Chesapeake Bay Foundation
With an Order Of Judgment, in favor of Permapost Products Company against Weyerhaeuser Company filed on November 17, 2015, resolving the final third party claims, the more than 15 year old disputes and differences over the construction of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Philip Merrill Environmental Center, in Annapolis, Maryland, are over. There is much to … Continue Reading

Proposals for changes to the International Green Construction Code are due by January 10

Proposals for changes to the International Code Council's "Green Construction Code" have been accepted since November and are due not later than January 10, 2014. Proposed IgCC changes are accepted from any member of the public. This is your opportunity to effect change in the environmental industrial complex.… Continue Reading

Federal Green Building Code Creates Unnecessary Risks and Costs

Someone recently asked me why I was baffled about the Department of Defense’s decision to use both LEED and a green building code.  Here are two reasons:  1.  The policy is a waste of taxpayer money. 2.  The policy unnecessarily increases risks for government contractors. LEED + Green Building Code = Duplicative Costs This concept is so logical … Continue Reading

Highlights from the Greenbuild Legal Forum

This year, the US Green Building Council hosted the 2nd Annual Legal Forum at Greenbuild 2011.  The fact that lawyers are now allowed to congregate and make presentations at the Greenbuild conference is an achievement.  The green building community seems to understand that green buildings do present new risks that must be managed and attorneys can … Continue Reading

Breaking: Lawsuit Against USGBC Dismissed

The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York has dismissed Henry Gifford’s lawsuit (PDF) against the US Green Building Council. Gifford originally filed a class action lawsuit for $100 million dollars based on the alleged false advertising by the USGBC.  The lawsuit was later amended to only cover four plaintiffs but the … Continue Reading

Could Green Building Policy Trump a Federal Decision?

I have been hearing rumblings about federal green building policies that are being reduced or axed in Washington D.C.  Now I have a real life example to discuss.  Kirk Dryer reported on the story last week, but I think its worth discussing further. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced that it would be relocating its … Continue Reading

LEED Certification: Revisiting Northland Pines High School

I was recently given the opportunity to interview Thomas Taylor and I jumped at the opportunity for two reasons.  First, Taylor wrote the forward for the first green building book I ever purchased.  Second, Taylor was involved with the Northland Pines High School project, which I have written about extensively.  Taylor currently works for Alberici’s sustainable … Continue Reading

Want to Pick My Green Building Legal Brain…for Free?

I am ready to hit the road and start talking about green building risk management.  I finally have enough cases and stories to weave together a compelling narrative about the topic. And for a short time, I will give my presentation for free to interested companies.  The presentation is entitled "LEEDigation: Current and Future Green Building … Continue Reading

Green Performance Bonds Necessary But Risky

Ever since I read the D.C. Green Building Act and its "performance bond" requirement, I have been morbidly interested in the idea of LEED bonds.  When Kristen Bradley, at SuretyBonds.com, offered to write an article on the topic, I couldn’t help but say yes.  SuretyBonds.com, a nationwide surety bond producer, works with a number of construction companies … Continue Reading

Are You Sure Your Building is Certified?

If you ever question the value of green building certification, run a search for press releases touting LEED certification for new projects.  I see hundreds of these releases every week.  But if you are purchasing a LEED building or space, how can you ensure that it truly is LEED certified?  Fidelity National Financial (FNF) created the LEED Project … Continue Reading

IRS To Audit Destiny USA’s Green Bonds

Yesterday was tax day.  A few unlucky souls will face the prospect of an audit in the coming months.  But for the Destiny USA project, the IRS has already announced an audit of the project’s $228 million Green Bonds.   If you need background on the Destiny USA story, I would suggest you review the e-book I … Continue Reading

If Green Materials Fail, Have We Failed?

When I first read about the Chesapeake Bay Foundation case, I thought of Peter Moonen.  Peter is the Leader of the Sustainable Building Coalition for the Canadian Wood Council.  He has been extolling the virtues of wood and green buildings for years.  Below, we discuss the benefits and pitfalls of parallam and other engineered wood … Continue Reading

Can You Guarantee LEED Certification?

Do you remember Energy Ace?  You may recall a series of posts I wrote about the company and it’s LEED guarantee.  Today we are checking in with Energy Ace founder Wayne Robertson to get the low down on the LEED guarantee.  Chris:  Please tell me about your "Green Guaranteed" program.    Wayne:  Energy Ace created … Continue Reading

First LEED Platinum Building “At Risk of Collapse”?

I have one last green building legal development to tell you about before I take my hiatus.  When people ask me about green building disputes, I tell them that they will arise from three scenarios.  A project may not comply with regulatory requirements — i.e. Destiny USA.  Second, disputes may arise from green building certification … Continue Reading

Did the USGBC Purchase Destiny USA Green Bonds?

I am wrapping up my discussion of the Destiny USA project this week with one final post.  You can select the Destiny USA tag to review all of the previously published posts on this topic.  I will also be publishing a compendium of posts on the topic — plus bonus coverage — later this week.  Thank … Continue Reading

The Destiny USA Debacle: May It Please the IRS

I am publishing a series of posts on the Destiny USA Debacle — the federally sponsored Green Bonds project that has failed to incorporate promised green building features.  To read all of the posts at once, you can download a PDF version now.  Or you can select the Destiny USA tag to review all of … Continue Reading

The Destiny USA Debacle: Destined for Trouble

I am publishing a series of posts on the Destiny USA Debacle — the federally sponsored Green Bonds project that has failed to incorporate promised green building features.  To read all of the posts at once, select the Destiny USA tag.  We have now set the scene for the Destiny USA debacle.  The key players … Continue Reading
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