Without a doubt, the green building industry is paying more attention to green building law. Two recent articles point to a growing consensus that green building litigation — LEEDigation — is on the horizon.
Part One: ENR
Last Monday, I was rushing around trying to pack for my Thanksgiving trip to Kansas City. When it comes to packing and getting to the airport, I am a bit of a procrastinator. I noticed on my phone that I had missed a call from a strange number.
Turns out, it was the Engineering News Record (ENR) and they wanted to talk about LEEDigation.
In that moment, I completely forgot about my flight and found myself engrossed in a conversation that resulted in the following article: "Green Building Thrives in Shaky Economy." The article is fascinating for a number of reasons. First, the paragraph introducing green building legal issues hammers home the point of a growing consensus about green building risks:
"Much chatter heard around the show [Greenbuild] centered on the prospect of lawsuits as green-building standards work their way deeper into building specifications and codes."
I would agree with this chatter. Guarantees of LEED certification are starting to become more common in green building contracts. And with guarantees, lawsuits are likely to follow. Here is what I had to say about green building legal issues in the article:
Cheatham, who is credited for coining the term “LEEDigation” in his blog, “Green Building Law Update,” has predicted a rise in these lawsuits. He says he will be watching out for them over the next two years for three reasons: First, owners rushed to get projects registered prior to a 2009 LEED update that required them to report energy data to USGBC. Second, more owners are now expecting LEED to help generate revenue. Third, projects mired in financial troubles may decide not to pursue certification even though it was promised.
“A lot of those projects should be coming up for certification soon,” Cheatham explains, adding that the economy’s shaky condition is “setting the stage for a project not obtaining certification becoming the subject of litigation.”
Do you agree or disagree? Are you hearing chatter centered around LEED-related lawsuits?