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Top 10 Environmental Blog Posts for the Roaring ‘20s

As we begin the new decade of the Roaring ‘20s we are incredibly excited about the prospects for environmental law. We are supremely confident that our business philosophy of “environmental risk as an opportunity” remains right for the times. This blog will continue in 2020 providing strategic intelligence on environmental law, including critical insights into … Continue Reading

Green Leases 101

Steve Teitelbaum practices real estate with Jones Day in their Washington DC office. Steve speaks frequently on real estate topics, particularly leasing, and has become a leading lecturer on "green" leases.  Since we have not covered green leases much on this blog, I thought Steve would make for a great interview.  Enjoy!    Chris: What is … Continue Reading

A Brave New Green Building World: LEED Certified Products

When I give green building presentations, I make it a point to explain that the LEED rating system does not certify products. I’m not going to be making that statement anymore. Two weeks ago, the US Green Building Council announced the launch of LEED Pilot Credit 43: Certified Products (PDF).  As you might have guessed … Continue Reading

Cities Preparing Infrastructure for Coastal Flooding

I have already written about the short-term opportunities for contractors that focus on rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure.  But long-term opportunities will also arise in infrastructure construction as a result of flooding along our coastal areas. The Wall Street Journal recently highlighted two reasons why coastal cities prone to flooding, like New York City, are making … Continue Reading

I Despise Traffic

This is a cross post from my new legal blog, Construction Claims Playbook (  I hate traffic.  Some of the happiest months of my life occurred when I did not own a car and relied on public transportation in Washington, D.C. Most people I know despise traffic but accept it as one of life’s nuisances.  But … Continue Reading

Will LEED Recertification Address Energy Performance?

There are a number of LEED-policy articles floating around the internet these days.  Fast Company wrote an article bashing LEED for poor energy performance.  Lloyd Alter responded at Treehugger with an article bashing the Fast Company article.  It’s time to move the discourse forward.  How Does the USGBC Intend to Improve Building Performance? One of … Continue Reading

Greenbuild Was All About Innovation

As famous Chicagoan Harey Caray would say, Holy Cow!  That Greenbuild was the most productive, most informative, and most exciting on record, at least for me.  Keep in mind, I have only attended two Greenbuild conferences.  If you want a recap of key Greenbuild events as I saw it them, then check here, here and … Continue Reading

Join Me for a Free Webinar: “Retrofitting Cities”

Couldn’t make it to Greenbuild this year?  Why not attend a free webinar with some of the most influential green thinkers in the country?  I am extremely honored and very excited to participate on a FREE webinar on Nov. 22 titled "Retrofitting Cities: How to ‘Green’ the Cities We’ve Got."   I hope you can join us.  Register here. Retrofitting … Continue Reading

Lots to Know About Greenbuild

I honestly can’t wait for Greenbuild this week.  Here are a few reasons why. Sustainable Cities Collective In addition to publishing Green Building Law Update, I recently became an advisory member of Sustainable Cities Collective (SSC).  SSC is a helpful website because it aggregates articles and blog posts from some of the top green and … Continue Reading

Green Building Registrations Decline in 2010

This week, I have been morbidly fascinated with stories about the state of the economy and construction.  Not surprisingly, the construction downturn has dramatically decreased the number of projects registering for green building certification in 2010.  The Business Journal recently came out with an excellent analysis of LEED registrations in 2010 and the results were … Continue Reading

RIP LEED Certification Bodies

The Green Building Certification Institute’s (GBCI) use of third-party certification bodies did not last long.     You may recall that in 2009, the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) outsourced green building certification to the Green Building Certification Institute:   "LEED certification became so popular that the USGBC had to begin allowing certification through independent certification bodies. . . … Continue Reading

JE Dunn Achieves LEED Gold Headquarters

As long time readers know, I am originally from Kansas. While green buildings have been common in DC for some time, the Midwest is just now starting to develop its own green building market.  I was extremely excited to get an opportunity to tour one of the newest green buildings in Kansas City.   Tim … Continue Reading

Update: Precedence Setting LEED CIRs Reconsidered

If you participate on building projects that are seeking LEED certification, this news may come as a relief to you.  According to Marian Keeler of Simon & Associates, the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) is reconsidering its decision to stop making Credit Interpretation Requests (CIRs) public.   I have previously described a CIR as … Continue Reading

Green Professionals Happy Hour – Welcome Back!

This year is going to be the year of the green professional.  Green professionals are going to be providing instrumental services, particularly in the D.C. Metropolitan area, which is serving as an incubator for numerous green programs.  In order to bring all of you like-minded green professionals together, we are reviving the Green Professionals Happy … Continue Reading

My Favorite Green Building Stories of the Year

2009 was my first full year blogging at Green Building Law Update. It was a difficult year for the construction industry, but the green building movement continued to grow. I recently went back and reviewed the Green Building Law Update stories from 2009. Below are some of my favorite quotes from my favorite posts. If … Continue Reading

More Green Certification Means Less Press

I often argue there are three primary non-environmental reasons for seeking green building certification: profit, regulatory compliance and press/goodwill.  An article in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal recently looked at diminishing press for buildings that achieve LEED certification:  A few years ago, it was a big deal when any building announced it was LEED certified. … Continue Reading

Starbucks Announces LEED Initiative

[Ed. Note: written by Steve McBrady] Starbucks coffee has always been an integral part of what we do here at Green Building Law Update. Until now, it was primarily a means of keeping our readers awake while we write endlessly on Green building and sustainable development in government contracts and in commercial construction, or discuss … Continue Reading

Congratulations to the Top Green Contractors

Congratulations to this year’s Top 100 green contractors, as determined by ENR.    The Top 100 Green Contractors for 2008 RANK FIRM 2008   1 The Turner Corp., New York, N.Y. 2 Webcor Builders, San Mateo, Calif. 3 Skanska USA Inc., Whitestone, N.Y. 4 Bovis Lend Lease, New York, N.Y. 5 Swinerton Inc., San Francisco, Calif. … Continue Reading

More Proof Green Building Is Not A Fad

I generally don’t like numbers.  But I have never seen such compelling proof that the green building industry is here to stay (ENR – subscription req.): The Top 100 (green contractors) generated $38.69 billion in revenue in 2008 from projects registered with or certified by third-party rating groups under objective environmental or sustainable development standards.  … Continue Reading

Happy Labor Day

I hope everyone is having a great Labor Day.  No new post today.  Instead, I would suggest you read or re-read the New York Times article about LEED and energy performance. The article is one of my most important to come out on green building in awhile.  As I said on Friday, the most interesting … Continue Reading

The Future of LEED: Re-certification

I found a YouTube video of a green roof being set on fire that I planned to post today.  You know another topic would have to be very important to pre-empt a green roof fire video.  Such a topic has revealed itself.  On Wednesday, we started talking about the New York Times LEED energy performance … Continue Reading

Shh, Don’t Tell the Blog But Here are the Birthday Party Details

No substantive news today.  Instead, here are the details about the blog birthday party happy hour coming up on August 20:  Who:  All of the Green Building Law Update readers and friends When:  August 20, 6:00-8:00 pm Where:  Darlington House, 1610 20th St. NW , Washington, D.C. Why:  So we can finally meet each other.  Or … Continue Reading

Birthday Party for Green Building Law Update

Last week, my blog had one of those moments when I realized it was growing up before my eyes.  Robert J. MacPherson is the Chair of the ABA Forum on the Construction Industry.  In the recent issue of The Construction Lawyer (the Forum’s Journal), Mr. MacPherson published a farewell column as outgoing Chair (PDF).  I … Continue Reading