Tag Archives: Legal Developments

Federal Green Building Code Creates Unnecessary Risks and Costs

Someone recently asked me why I was baffled about the Department of Defense’s decision to use both LEED and a green building code.  Here are two reasons:  1.  The policy is a waste of taxpayer money. 2.  The policy unnecessarily increases risks for government contractors. LEED + Green Building Code = Duplicative Costs This concept is so logical … Continue Reading

Highlights from the Greenbuild Legal Forum

This year, the US Green Building Council hosted the 2nd Annual Legal Forum at Greenbuild 2011.  The fact that lawyers are now allowed to congregate and make presentations at the Greenbuild conference is an achievement.  The green building community seems to understand that green buildings do present new risks that must be managed and attorneys can … Continue Reading

Breaking: Lawsuit Against USGBC Dismissed

The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York has dismissed Henry Gifford’s lawsuit (PDF) against the US Green Building Council. Gifford originally filed a class action lawsuit for $100 million dollars based on the alleged false advertising by the USGBC.  The lawsuit was later amended to only cover four plaintiffs but the … Continue Reading

Could Green Building Policy Trump a Federal Decision?

I have been hearing rumblings about federal green building policies that are being reduced or axed in Washington D.C.  Now I have a real life example to discuss.  Kirk Dryer reported on the story last week, but I think its worth discussing further. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced that it would be relocating its … Continue Reading

LEED Certification: Revisiting Northland Pines High School

I was recently given the opportunity to interview Thomas Taylor and I jumped at the opportunity for two reasons.  First, Taylor wrote the forward for the first green building book I ever purchased.  Second, Taylor was involved with the Northland Pines High School project, which I have written about extensively.  Taylor currently works for Alberici’s sustainable … Continue Reading

Want to Pick My Green Building Legal Brain…for Free?

I am ready to hit the road and start talking about green building risk management.  I finally have enough cases and stories to weave together a compelling narrative about the topic. And for a short time, I will give my presentation for free to interested companies.  The presentation is entitled "LEEDigation: Current and Future Green Building … Continue Reading

Green Performance Bonds Necessary But Risky

Ever since I read the D.C. Green Building Act and its “performance bond” requirement, I have been morbidly interested in the idea of LEED bonds.  When Kristen Bradley, at SuretyBonds.com, offered to write an article on the topic, I couldn’t help but say yes.  SuretyBonds.com, a nationwide surety bond producer, works with a number of construction companies … Continue Reading

IRS To Audit Destiny USA’s Green Bonds

Yesterday was tax day.  A few unlucky souls will face the prospect of an audit in the coming months.  But for the Destiny USA project, the IRS has already announced an audit of the project’s $228 million Green Bonds.   If you need background on the Destiny USA story, I would suggest you review the e-book I … Continue Reading

Can You Guarantee LEED Certification?

Do you remember Energy Ace?  You may recall a series of posts I wrote about the company and it’s LEED guarantee.  Today we are checking in with Energy Ace founder Wayne Robertson to get the low down on the LEED guarantee.  Chris:  Please tell me about your "Green Guaranteed" program.    Wayne:  Energy Ace created … Continue Reading

First LEED Platinum Building “At Risk of Collapse”?

I have one last green building legal development to tell you about before I take my hiatus.  When people ask me about green building disputes, I tell them that they will arise from three scenarios.  A project may not comply with regulatory requirements — i.e. Destiny USA.  Second, disputes may arise from green building certification … Continue Reading

Did the USGBC Purchase Destiny USA Green Bonds?

I am wrapping up my discussion of the Destiny USA project this week with one final post.  You can select the Destiny USA tag to review all of the previously published posts on this topic.  I will also be publishing a compendium of posts on the topic — plus bonus coverage — later this week.  Thank … Continue Reading

The Destiny USA Debacle: May It Please the IRS

I am publishing a series of posts on the Destiny USA Debacle — the federally sponsored Green Bonds project that has failed to incorporate promised green building features.  To read all of the posts at once, you can download a PDF version now.  Or you can select the Destiny USA tag to review all of … Continue Reading

The Destiny USA Debacle: Destined for Trouble

I am publishing a series of posts on the Destiny USA Debacle — the federally sponsored Green Bonds project that has failed to incorporate promised green building features.  To read all of the posts at once, select the Destiny USA tag.  We have now set the scene for the Destiny USA debacle.  The key players … Continue Reading

The Destiny USA Debacle: Why the IRS is the Key Player

I am publishing a series of posts on the Destiny USA Debacle — the federally sponsored Green Bonds project that has failed to incorporate promised green building features.  To read all of the posts, you can select the Destiny USA tag to review all of the published posts on this topic.  Or check back later … Continue Reading

The Destiny USA Debacle: What is Destiny USA?

I am publishing a series of posts on the Destiny USA Debacle — the federally-sponsored Green Bonds project that has failed to incorporate promised green building features.  To read all of the posts at once, you can select the Destiny USA tag.   In this post, I planned to describe the proposed Destiny USA project … Continue Reading

Unprecedented Green Building Dispute Could Cost Developer $122.3 million

Up until yesterday, the biggest green building dispute I had come across was Shaw Development v. Southern Builders.  That case involved $635,000 in damages because a project did not obtain the LEED certification necessary to qualify for state tax credits.   That is chump change compared to the Destiny USA green building dispute that is … Continue Reading

Gifford’s LEED Lawsuit Takes New Shape

You remember the $100 million dollar lawsuit against the US Green Building Council, right?   It’s back in the spotlight, and it has taken a new form through an amended complaint filed by multiple Plaintiffs. No longer is the Plaintiff asking for $100 million.  No longer is the Plaintiff asserting a class action lawsuit that … Continue Reading

LEED Automation Means More Efficiency, Fewer Consultants

Back in November 2010, I received a press release that caught my attention: “The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), developers of the LEED green building program today announced LEED Automation, a new program in collaboration with leading technology companies that is designed to streamline and create capacity for the LEED building certification process. LEED Automation … Continue Reading

Sordid Green Bulding Litigation Arises in Minnesota

This is as confusing and sordid as any green building dispute I have seen.  Consider yourself warned.  Over the holidays, Michael Anschel informed me that the the Builders Association of the Twin Cities (BATC) had sued Minnesota GreenStar and filed a restraining order against using a green building standard.  Despite that simple statement, there is … Continue Reading

Best in Green Building Law 2010, Part III

It is the week between Christmas and New Year’s, which can only mean one thing:  bloggers are getting lazy and doing "best of" posts.  There was one story I wrote this year that was far and away more interesting to me than any other:  the Northland Pines High School LEED certification challenge.  I found the … Continue Reading
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