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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

Gifford’s LEED Lawsuit Takes New Shape

You remember the $100 million dollar lawsuit against the US Green Building Council, right?   It’s back in the spotlight, and it has taken a new form through an amended complaint filed by multiple Plaintiffs. No longer is the Plaintiff asking for $100 million.  No longer is the Plaintiff asserting a class action lawsuit that … Continue Reading

Green Building Challenge Policy Requires Fixes

Reader’s note:  This is my last post on the LEED certification challenge.  Thanks for staying with me. I thought I would end my discussion of the Northland Pines High School LEED certification challenge with some constructive suggestions.  The LEED challenge issue is not going away anytime soon and clearly requires some fixes.  1.  Appeals of … Continue Reading

A Green Building Law Gift For You!

We are going to momentarily pause our discussion of the LEED certification challenge because I have a gift for you today.      A free webinar!    Last week, my colleague Steve McBrady and I hosted the webinar "Greener Pastures: Managing Risks While Navigating Federal and State Green Building Opportunities."  I enjoyed the presentation because, … Continue Reading

Breaking: USGBC Stands By Its LEED Challenge Decision

Welcome to our first afternoon edition of Green Building Law Update.  No one is quite sure whether the challengers to the Northland Pines High School LEED certification have grounds for an appeal.  But I figured two statements by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) regarding the "appeal" warranted a special blog post.  First, Brendan Owens, … Continue Reading

LEED Certification Challengers Speak Out

News continues to emerge about the challenge to the LEED Gold certification received by the Northland Pines High School.  Green Building Law Update previously reported on a statement made by United States Green Building Council (USGBC) General Counsel Susan Dorn that the certification challenge had been denied.   There is so much more to this … Continue Reading

The Clock Continues to Run On LEED Challenges

I am wrapping up review of the LEED Certification Challenge Policy.  Today, I will discuss the third of three reasons why the challenge policy creates significant risk for parties involved in a project seeking LEED certification: (1) Any person can challenge a building’s LEED certification; (2) Any and all LEED points can be challenged; and … Continue Reading

Breaking LEEDigation: NASCAR Star Involved in Green Construction Dispute

I am going to take a temporary hiatus today to jump from the Wisconsin LEED challenge to discuss breaking LEEDigation news.   LEEDigation is, of course, litigation involving LEED certification.  I have previously discussed Shaw Development v. Southern Builders, which is an example of a project failing to achieve LEED certification.  But how else could … Continue Reading

Every Single LEED Point Can Be Challenged

On Wednesday, I began a review of the Green Building Certification Institute’s ("GBCI") LEED Certification Challenge policy.  There are three reasons why the LEED Certification Challenge Policy creates significant risk for all parties involved in a LEED-certified project: (1) Any person can challenge a building’s LEED certification; (2) Any and all LEED points can be challenged; … Continue Reading

Cranks, Gadflies and Rivals Can Challenge LEED Status

A few weeks ago, after a green building legal presentation, I remarked to a colleague that I was growing tired of discussing Shaw Development v. Southern Builders, the prime example of LEEDigation.  Less than one week later, along came the Wisconsin LEED challenge and the discovery of the LEED Certification Challenge Policy.   The LEED … Continue Reading

First Ever LEED Challenge Denied

Up in Wisconsin, a group of concerned citizens challenged the LEED certification of a high school under the Green Building Certification Institute’s (GBCI) Certification Challenge Policy.  The LEED challenge came to light in December 2009 although it was originally filed in 2008.  Last week, the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) denied the LEED challenge.  … Continue Reading

Design Flaws Impact Offshore Wind Energy Project

From time to time, I like to step outside the green building industry and look at construction of renewable energy projects.  While windmill construction is nothing new, countries are looking for new opportunities to develop wind energy.  One new type of development has certainly caught my attention from a risk management standpoint.    A recent … Continue Reading

Conflicts Arise Between Military Construction and Green Building

As federal agencies continue to push green building certification, some federal projects are running into conflicts when building green.  Take for example, a recent article I reviewed regarding military construction and LEED certification.  The basic premise of the article is that green building rating systems and military construction do not always work together.  "’An office … Continue Reading

LEED Funding for Green School Causes Construction Delay

Last Thursday, during a webinar on green building legal issues, I stated the following: "I really believe schools will be a hotbed for green defect claims, in terms of energy efficiency, and other green building components.  Schools rely on tight budgets. . . .  Be careful what you are promising on these green school projects." … Continue Reading

Green Building Industry to Face More Scrutiny

The green building industry is entering an interesting period. In 2009, the green building movement was embraced as a solution to economic and environmental problems. "Green jobs" were touted as a way to improve the economy while reducing unemployment. Investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency measures was championed as a way to reduce greenhouse … Continue Reading

Uncertainties Plague Geothermal Heat Industry

Geothermal heat pumps continue to gain popularity as an alternative energy source.  This energy technology doesn’t come without uncertainties though.  In fact, as ENR recently described it, there are significant problems with the geothermal industry:  "[M]any of these systems are not performing as touted, especially cleverly hyped geothermal heating systems that are plagued with inflated … Continue Reading

Contractors Need Green Building Contracts Too

We previously reviewed a green building contract that can be used to manage the architect-owner relationship. But what about contractors? As a member of the AGC ConsensusDOCS committee, I had the pleasure of collaborating on the ConsensusDOCS 310 Green Building Addendum, which was recently released: On Nov. 10, ConsensusDOCS released the construction industry’s first and … Continue Reading