Tag Archives: Legal Developments

A Green Building Law Gift For You!

We are going to momentarily pause our discussion of the LEED certification challenge because I have a gift for you today.      A free webinar!    Last week, my colleague Steve McBrady and I hosted the webinar "Greener Pastures: Managing Risks While Navigating Federal and State Green Building Opportunities."  I enjoyed the presentation because, … Continue Reading

Breaking: USGBC Stands By Its LEED Challenge Decision

Welcome to our first afternoon edition of Green Building Law Update.  No one is quite sure whether the challengers to the Northland Pines High School LEED certification have grounds for an appeal.  But I figured two statements by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) regarding the "appeal" warranted a special blog post.  First, Brendan Owens, … Continue Reading

LEED Certification Challengers Speak Out

News continues to emerge about the challenge to the LEED Gold certification received by the Northland Pines High School.  Green Building Law Update previously reported on a statement made by United States Green Building Council (USGBC) General Counsel Susan Dorn that the certification challenge had been denied.   There is so much more to this … Continue Reading

Join Me For A Green Building Legal Webinar

I am excited to inform you about a free upcoming webinar that my firm is offering on green building legal issues on June 2.  Back in April, George Ruttinger, Stephen McBrady and myself presented "Legal Considerations When Building Green" to the Construction Industry Round Table.  I think it is fair to say I got grilled about … Continue Reading

The Clock Continues to Run On LEED Challenges

I am wrapping up review of the LEED Certification Challenge Policy.  Today, I will discuss the third of three reasons why the challenge policy creates significant risk for parties involved in a project seeking LEED certification: (1) Any person can challenge a building’s LEED certification; (2) Any and all LEED points can be challenged; and … Continue Reading

Breaking LEEDigation: NASCAR Star Involved in Green Construction Dispute

I am going to take a temporary hiatus today to jump from the Wisconsin LEED challenge to discuss breaking LEEDigation news.   LEEDigation is, of course, litigation involving LEED certification.  I have previously discussed Shaw Development v. Southern Builders, which is an example of a project failing to achieve LEED certification.  But how else could … Continue Reading

Every Single LEED Point Can Be Challenged

On Wednesday, I began a review of the Green Building Certification Institute’s ("GBCI") LEED Certification Challenge policy.  There are three reasons why the LEED Certification Challenge Policy creates significant risk for all parties involved in a LEED-certified project: (1) Any person can challenge a building’s LEED certification; (2) Any and all LEED points can be challenged; … Continue Reading

Cranks, Gadflies and Rivals Can Challenge LEED Status

A few weeks ago, after a green building legal presentation, I remarked to a colleague that I was growing tired of discussing Shaw Development v. Southern Builders, the prime example of LEEDigation.  Less than one week later, along came the Wisconsin LEED challenge and the discovery of the LEED Certification Challenge Policy.   The LEED … Continue Reading

First Ever LEED Challenge Denied

Up in Wisconsin, a group of concerned citizens challenged the LEED certification of a high school under the Green Building Certification Institute’s (GBCI) Certification Challenge Policy.  The LEED challenge came to light in December 2009 although it was originally filed in 2008.  Last week, the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) denied the LEED challenge.  … Continue Reading

Design Flaws Impact Offshore Wind Energy Project

From time to time, I like to step outside the green building industry and look at construction of renewable energy projects.  While windmill construction is nothing new, countries are looking for new opportunities to develop wind energy.  One new type of development has certainly caught my attention from a risk management standpoint.    A recent … Continue Reading

Insurers Still Unsure of Green Building Risks

One of my very first Green Building Law Update posts focused on the insurance and surety industries’ concerns related to green building.  Nearly two years later, some in the insurance industry are still expressing concerns regarding green building projects.  A recent P&C National Underwriter article highlighted numerous insurance-related concerns related to green buildings: Vegetative roofing—using … Continue Reading

Conflicts Arise Between Military Construction and Green Building

As federal agencies continue to push green building certification, some federal projects are running into conflicts when building green.  Take for example, a recent article I reviewed regarding military construction and LEED certification.  The basic premise of the article is that green building rating systems and military construction do not always work together. “‘An office … Continue Reading

Some New Green Building Ideas

One of the first publications that peaked my interest in green building was the AGC’s SmartBrief. Each day, I would read about a new green building project or development in SmartBrief. In large part because of SmartBrief, I began to explore the legal implications associated with green building. Last week, my blog post "Does Your … Continue Reading

Update: Energy Department Concerned About Geothermal Earthquake Risk

When you think of green energy projects, what sort of results do you anticipate?  New energy sources?  Reduced energy costs?  Green jobs?  What about earthquakes? Geothermal energy, a widely-touted green energy source, involves drilling miles-deep wells into underground reservoirs in order to tap steam and hot water that can be used for energy applications.  I … 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

What Does Climate Change Disclosure Mean for Green Building?

Did you know your company may have a duty to disclose how climate change may impact your business? A group of Crowell & Moring attorneys – James Chen, Bryan Brewer and Jessica Hall – recently released a Climate Change Client Alert regarding the issuance of climate disclosure guidance by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).  … Continue Reading

Can a Green Schools Program Be Inequitable?

In Ohio, there is LEEDigation brewing.  But it’s not the LEEDigaiton that I anticipated.   The Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) requires that new OSFC-funded schools achieve LEED Silver certification.  The Washington-Nile school district is balking at the additional costs incurred as a result of the LEED certification requirement.   When a school project is pursuing … Continue Reading

LEED Funding for Green School Causes Construction Delay

Last Thursday, during a webinar on green building legal issues, I stated the following: "I really believe schools will be a hotbed for green defect claims, in terms of energy efficiency, and other green building components.  Schools rely on tight budgets. . . .  Be careful what you are promising on these green school projects." … Continue Reading

Important Revision to the D.C. Green Building Act

In December 2009, an Amendment to the D.C. Green Building Act of 2006 was introduced by the D.C. Council.  Labeled the "Green Building Technical Corrections, Clarification, and Revision Amendment Act of 2009," this Amendment includes many revisions to the original Green Building Act.  One of those revisions involves the "performance bond" requirement: "’Sec. 6. Bond … Continue Reading
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