Tag Archives: green building law

Migratory Bird Treaty Act Reform is for the Birds

A week after this blog post, the Office of the Solicitor issued a memorandum the subject line of which was, “The Migratory Bird Treaty Act Does Not Prohibit Incidental Take.” The very first page of the Memorandum ends with the sentence, “Interpreting the MBTA to apply to incidental or accidental actions hangs the sword of … Continue Reading

Green Building Data Risk as an Opportunity

Green buildings generate large quantities of data. In an age when many have opinions about Edward Snowden’s disclosures, foreign state sponsored hacking, and Uber’s massive customer data hack, most people have not considered matters of data protection from their real estate, green building or otherwise. The topic is too broad to comprehensively address in a … Continue Reading

Arbitration is Why There is So Little Litigation in Green Building

It is surprising to many in the environmental industrial complex that there has been relatively little litigation arising out of green building. There have been only a very modest number of cases commenced in courts across the country involving construction of green buildings. The reason for the dearth of court cases is not that there … Continue Reading

LEED Commercial Interiors can Save the Planet

By Katie Stanford and Stuart Kaplow LEED Commercial Interiors projects present the best single opportunity for greening buildings. The proof is in the numbers. There are more than 5.6 million existing commercial buildings in the United States today. And despite the wildly successful U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (the ubiquitous acronym for Leadership in Energy … Continue Reading

Green Globes to be Approved in Maryland

Last week the Maryland Green Building Council voted unanimously to recommend that Green Globes, at the two Green Globes level, be approved by the Maryland Secretaries of Budget and Management and General Services as a “high performance building” as defined in Maryland law. The vote is being widely heralded as a significant step forward in … Continue Reading

Eat, Pray, Greenbuild?

I am often asked, “how can I expand my green building business?” My answer is simple and the same response I have offered for years, attend the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo. This year Greenbuild is in Boston from November 8 – 10. I do not claim any particular business marketing prowess. Nor can I … Continue Reading

FTC Settles Charges Over Deceptive Zero VOC Claims

Paint Can Label from Exhibit B in FTC Complaint
Four paint companies have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that they deceptively promoted products as containing zero volatile organic compounds (VOCs) or as emission free, including during and immediately after application. Some promotions also made explicit safety claims. Specifically, the first FTC complaint alleges, In connection with the advertising, promotion, offering for sale, … Continue Reading

Mold can be Arrested in the Marketplace

Extensive mold contamination on ceiling and wall
Concern about exposure to indoor mold has been increasing as the public becomes sensitive to issues of building occupant health and wellbeing. Mold problems in buildings have in large measure been exacerbated by changes in building codes and construction practices that began in the 1970s. In the quest to be more energy efficient, buildings are … Continue Reading

You Need a Green Building Consultant (Who Speaks for the Trees)

The Lorax Partnerships Team
We are often asked “what is the best way to assure success in a green building project?” Whether that query is from a Fortune 1000 businesses or an architect, the answer is the same, have the owner engage an experienced green building consultant as early as possible in the project. Which often leads to a … Continue Reading

Retailers Pay Millions for Hazardous Waste Violations

Retailers across the nation are buttressing their trash disposal practices after Dollar General Stores and Big Lots Stores paid Millions of dollars to settle civil suits for environmental violations for the unlawful disposal of hazardous waste, including customer returned merchandise and batteries. Most businesses should have a solid waste management plan to provide staff with … Continue Reading

Solar Powered Advertisement is Deceptive

Billboard in Italian Train Station
A business installs photo voltaic panels on its roof to generate power, and advertises that it is “solar powered.”  The business, however, sells the Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) that are generated by the solar power. Even if the business is near net zero for electricity generated by the solar panels, according to guidance from the … Continue Reading

Nevada Stops Subsidizing Net Metering

Photovoltaic panels provide electricity at yak herder's house in Bhutan
In the final days of 2015, Nevada became the front line in the nationwide debate over energy policy when the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada cut rates for net metering impacting homeowners with rooftop photovoltaic panels. The 113 page draft order found that under existing net metering rates other ratepayers were subsidizing net metering customers … Continue Reading

LEED Dynamic Plaque Coming to a Building Near You

Mahesh Ramanujam and Scot Horst discuss the LEED Dynamic Plaque at Greenbuild
With LEED Dynamic Plaques starting to appear in building lobbies it is a good time to understand this new U.S. Green Building Council platform. It is a whole lot more than a 7 lb. display unit. While we are aware of six LEED Dynamic Plaque certifications, according to the USGBC, the Dexter Horton Building in … Continue Reading
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