I like categories. I like to categorize ideas, issues and thoughts in order to develop my understanding. The same is true for green building law; I like to think of this emerging practice in terms of categories.
The other day I was asked "what is green building law?" by an environmental attorney. I had never really been asked that question before so I reverted to my categories. This is what I told the environmental attorney, almost word for word:
Green building law has both front-end and back-end components. At the front end, you have the contract. Additionally, you have to deal with financing, land use and real estate legal issues.
At the back end, green building law deals with potential disputes. These potential disputes fall into one of three categories:
(1) Certification – Disputes arise from green building certification when a project fails to achieve certification. Which party will be responsible for the failed certification?
(2) Regulations – Regulations refer to those green building regulations that require or incentivize green building development. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in green building litigation.
(3) Green building strategies – Specific components of a green building that can result in litigation. The example I give is a green roof that leaks. Who will be responsible for the leaking green roof?
Do these categories properly define green building law? What am I forgetting? Most importantly, do you have a better understanding of what a green building attorney can do for your business?