During a recent Green Building Institute Webinar, I had the pleasure of hearing Dan Murphy, Senior Vice President of Environmental Systems Design, speak about potential liability resulting from green building projects. Dan poignantly stated what I have been thinking for awhile:
"There has been no significant green building litigation, yet. I emphasize the word yet."
Dan is right. So far, the green building world has avoided major litigation. Some green building claims have arisen but were subsequently settled. Major litigation has been avoided because those undertaking green building did so for non-financial reasons (e.g. the environment or goodwill). Two factors will result in the beginning of significant green building litigation:
• Parties undertaking green building projects for purely financial reasons will expect to make a profit
• Cities and states will require (unwilling) parties to build green
Cities and states can require green building? How can they do that? More later…