Tag Archives: green building law

You Need a Green Building Consultant (Who Speaks for the Trees)

The Lorax Partnerships Team The Lorax Partnerships Team
We are often asked “what is the best way to assure success in a green building project?” Whether that query is from a Fortune 1000 businesses or an architect, the answer is the same, have the owner engage an experienced green building consultant as early as possible in the project. Which often leads to a … Continue Reading

Retailers Pay Millions for Hazardous Waste Violations

hazardous waste
Retailers across the nation are buttressing their trash disposal practices after Dollar General Stores and Big Lots Stores paid Millions of dollars to settle civil suits for environmental violations for the unlawful disposal of hazardous waste, including customer returned merchandise and batteries. Most businesses should have a solid waste management plan to provide staff with … Continue Reading

Solar Powered Advertisement is Deceptive

Billboard in Italian Train Station Billboard in Italian Train Station
A business installs photo voltaic panels on its roof to generate power, and advertises that it is “solar powered.”  The business, however, sells the Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) that are generated by the solar power. Even if the business is near net zero for electricity generated by the solar panels, according to guidance from the … Continue Reading

Nevada Stops Subsidizing Net Metering

Photovoltaic panels provide electricity at yak herder's house in Bhutan Photovoltaic panels provide electricity at yak herder's house in Bhutan
In the final days of 2015, Nevada became the front line in the nationwide debate over energy policy when the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada cut rates for net metering impacting homeowners with rooftop photovoltaic panels. The 113 page draft order found that under existing net metering rates other ratepayers were subsidizing net metering customers … Continue Reading

LEED Dynamic Plaque Coming to a Building Near You

Mahesh Ramanujam  and Scot Horst discuss the LEED Dynamic Plaque at Greenbuild Mahesh Ramanujam and Scot Horst discuss the LEED Dynamic Plaque at Greenbuild
With LEED Dynamic Plaques starting to appear in building lobbies it is a good time to understand this new U.S. Green Building Council platform. It is a whole lot more than a 7 lb. display unit. While we are aware of six LEED Dynamic Plaque certifications, according to the USGBC, the Dexter Horton Building in … Continue Reading

GRESB is Huge with $2.3 Trillion in Real Estate so Follow the Money

GRESB at Greenbuild 2015 GRESB at Greenbuild 2015
Representing a huge share of the market capitalization of real estate across the globe, this year, 707 real estate companies and funds, with over 61,000 properties, having an aggregate value of $2.3 Trillion reported their environmental, social and governance information to Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB). To appreciate the order of magnitude of those … 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

Montgomery County to Abandon LEED Mandating IgCC for All Building

MoCo
Montgomery County, Maryland has proposed adopting the International Green Construction Code 2012. At first blush this might sound like a good thing, until one considers that Montgomery County has long had mandatory green building laws for public and private construction, and the County today also offers significant incentives for green building. Many hundreds of LEED … Continue Reading

Utility Incentives Tied to LEED are Growing Geometrically

Last week Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company announced rebates from $2,000 to $10,000 tied to achieving certain LEED credits. Electric utility based incentives that support energy efficiency, including LEED certification, are increasing in number across the U.S. at all but geometric rates, while at the same time new government incentives have … Continue Reading

You Should Comment on the Revised Green Globes Standard

Last Friday was the beginning of the public comment period on the Green Building Initiative’s revision to its ANSI/GBI 01-2010: Green Building Assessment Protocol for Commercial Buildings that forms the basis for the current version of Green Globes for New Construction. Nearly 1000 buildings are Green Globes certified in the U.S. today. The revised Standard … Continue Reading

Climate Change Disclosures by Public Companies

In recent weeks this law firm has received more inquiries than at any time in recent years about the Securities and Exchange Commission’s disclosure requirements for public companies as they apply to climate change matters. Possibly the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule for emission reductions for existing power plants triggered this heightened level of interest … Continue Reading

Litigation over First LEED Platinum Building Comes to an End

It should give design professionals pause, now more than ever, that specifying new or untried materials and products (that are often the keystone of sustainable building) comes with unique risks; and in this case PolyClear 2000 was specified even before the emerging era of expanded liability arising from environmental product declarations and health product declarations.… Continue Reading

IgCC will now be Powered by ASHRAE 189.1

Last Friday, the International Code Council and ASHRAE announced that the new version of the International Green Construction Code (IgCC), .. scheduled to be released in 2018, .. will be powered by" ASHRAE Standard 189.1. .. Much of the early reaction has been nonplussed given that, today, there are only a handful of IgCC green buildings.… Continue Reading

Lawyers’ Opinion Matters in Green Building Transactions

This law firm is increasingly called upon to give legal opinions that a green building is LEED certified, certifiable or otherwise 'really' a green building. ... We also receive requests to give opinions of counsel that a project is ICC 700 'certifiable' or ASHRAE 189.1 compliant or complies with Enterprise Green Communities criteria; commonly associated with qualifying for governmental incentives. Committing that a project will be LEED certifiable versus certified by GBCI increases certainty and lowers risk.… Continue Reading

LEED Bird Collision Deterrence to be Required in Highland Park

Between 365 and 988 million birds are killed annually by window collisions in the U.S. It is suggested that green building programs, like LEED, encourage using natural light to reduce energy use and encourage green views resulting in the use of more glass. And windows are no friends to birds as we all know from the popular Windex television ad.… Continue Reading

Government Ownership of Rain is Antithetical to Increased Potable Water

Collecting rain and using it for a desired purpose on one's own property should no longer violate the law. Utah's decriminalizing precipitation collection may be a model for the nation. Tucson may have gone too far in mandating rain collection for landscaping. But is it too farfetched to imagine government increasing potable water by not only making it legal but even offering incentives, like Albuquerque, for collecting rain?… Continue Reading

What LEED Credit is Almost Never Achieved?

Surprising to some, there is one LEED credit that stands out, by far, as the least earned. .. Despite that the credit is almost never achieved, some have suggested it is important because materials credits play an ever increasing and controversial role in LEED v4.… Continue Reading

HUD Adopts 2009 IECC (Not the 2012 or 2015 version) and Why You Care

For all intents and purposes federally assisted housing must now be green. And while such is generally viewed as positive and as advancing green building (.. the big winner may be LEED), some worry about the implications for affordable housing and others about the homogenization of American housing by federal government efforts to save the planet.… Continue Reading

Microbeads Ban in Maryland will be more Efficacious than Others

Just 2 years ago Hayden Panettierre told us microbeads were chic in this television commercial. ... Today, the annual per-capita consumption of microbeads from cosmetics and personal care products in the United States is estimated at 0.0309 ounces per person per year, which adds up to over 300 tons of microbeads being discharged into the wastewater stream each year.… Continue Reading
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