[Ed. Note: On Monday, I promised breaking news on the green building risk front. The news is still breaking so I am holding off on posting the story for now. Sorry for the delay. We are going live with the story on Friday.]
Here’s a green building law pop quiz for you. What is missing from this policy?
“4.4. … [N]ew development is encouraged to at a minimum, achieve Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design certification. A floor area ratio (FAR) of up to 7 may be allowed if the proposed structure achieves a level of “Silver” LEED certification.”
If you were preparing to develop a project, what else would you want to know? First correct answer will be featured on this blog post.
UPDATE: You may have noticed that there were a lot of right answers to the quiz. In fact, all of the responses in the comments section are correct. But there is one answer that I was looking for specifically: what’s the enforcement mechanism? Attorney William E. Kelley saw the issue
The presumption is that if your project achieves LEED Silver certification, then your structure may have a FAR of up to 7. What is not said is what happens if the project does not achieve LEED Silver (e.g., it only achieves LEED Certified level or it does not achieve LEED certification at all). The allowable FAR would be integral to the development of the design plans, and the building would be constructed before LEED certification occurs. So, if the project does not achieve LEED Silver, and if the project was further constructed with a FAR of 7, then what is the consequence to the developer for the failure to achieve LEED Silver? The policy, as written, ties allowable FAR levels to "achieving" LEED Silver certification. Perhaps better for the developer would be a policy where FAR is tied to a project with a "goal" of achieving LEED Silver.
That’s the first issue that comes to my mind, but I’m confident there are probably other questions about the policy.