Tag Archives: USGBC

A Green Building Game of Thrones

"Winter is coming."   This is the common refrain in the popular book, Game of Thrones, in which kings vie to take over lands.  As I thought about the green building policy mess of 2012, I couldn’t help but draw comparisons to Game of Thrones.  This was supposed to be the year of the USGBC’s … 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

Breaking: USGBC Moves Quickly To Revise Challenge Policy

The law moves at glacial speeds.  The USGBC does not.  On June 21, 2010, I wrote a blog post titled "Green Building Challenge Policy Requires Fixes."  My post detailed problems with the LEED certification challenge policy, as published in the LEED Certification Policy Manual.  You may recall that I wrote on, and on, and on … Continue Reading

GSA Pushes For Reforms to Green Bulding Certification

The green building industry has been besieged the last few years with stories about buildings not performing as anticipated.  It appears the federal government has taken notice, and is pushing reforms to green building certification, based on comments by one high-ranking General Services Administration official:   “’One of the things that I tease the USGBC … Continue Reading

3 Reasons Why Your Green Building Regulation is a Problem

On Wednesday, I posited that codifying the LEED rating system, or any other third party green building rating system, is not a viable option for an entire state.   Why?  Here are three primary considerations:   1.  There are troubling antitrust issues associated with the LEED rating system.  These antitrust issues are significantly exacerbated by the … Continue Reading

Green Building Groups Oppose Green Building Regulations

These are strange times for the green building industry.  Last week, California prepared to vote on new green building codes that would improve energy efficiency, water use and waste reduction in the construction industry.  Normally you would anticipate that environmental groups and green builders would applaud these measures, right? Not quite.   "[P]arts of the state’s … Continue Reading

Green Building Regulations To Face Increased Scrutiny

A coalition of forest product companies (“the Coalition”) has filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regarding, in part, the United States Green Building Council’s preference for Federal Stewardship Council-certified (FSC) wood products. The Coalition has asked the FTC Bureau of Competition to provide guidance to the USGBC and other rating systems regarding the … Continue Reading

USGBC Accused of Anti-competitive Practices

We may be settling into 2010, but one unresolved legal development in 2009 could have a broad impact on the future of the green building industry. On October 20, 2009, the Coalition for Fair Forest Certification ("the Coalition") filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (pdf), alleging anti-competitive behavior by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) … Continue Reading

The Most Important Green Building Legal Story of the Year

[Today we are highlighting the what is, in my opinion, the most important green building legal story of 2009.  With the launch of LEED v. 3.0, the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) announced it would revoke certification of projects that failed to meet minimum requirements.  The possibility of LEED de-certification creates new liability issues … Continue Reading

Cities Will Soon Regulate Energy Use

The future of green building regulations usually starts in big cities. Cities like San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and New York City were some of the first to incorporate green building certification into regulations and building codes. The next frontier in green building regulations will be energy performance and New York City seems to be at … Continue Reading

How Far Should the GSA Go With Green Building Certification?

If you have been reading Green Building Law Update for any length of time, you have read about the $4.5 billion that was given to the General Services Administration through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  The GSA has announced plans to use the $4.5 billion to create high performance, green government buildings.    The … Continue Reading

Green Building Issues I Am Thinking About

Tomorrow I will be in Nashville, Tennessee to talk to the Middle Tennessee Chapter of the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) about green building law.  It is great news that the green building industry and the people who are involved in green building projects on a daily basis are so interested in green building … 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

New York Times, USGBC Address LEED Performance Gap

You may have recently read the New York Times article about the gap between LEED building designs and actual energy performance.  If not, I would recommend reading the article.  You may have also noticed a reference to "construction lawyers":  "Already, some construction lawyers have said that owners might face additional risk of lawsuits if buildings … Continue Reading

Real Life Example of the Energy Performance Gap

[Sometimes I get great emails from readers and we discuss a green building topic or blog post.  Then I sit on the topic for a while, waiting for the right time to share with the Green Building Law Update readers.  Now seems like the right time to share an email I received from a reader. … Continue Reading

Could LEED NC and LEED EBOM Join Forces?

With the recent announcement that LEED certified projects will have to report energy performance data, the USGBC has signaled its intent to take on under performing green buildings.  LEED 2009 requires the reporting of energy performance data, but does not include actual energy performance requirements.  I have no doubt that the USGBC will require some … Continue Reading
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