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November 21, 2011

Green Building, Litigation and Risk

Green Building Litigation and Risk

Green Building is all the rage. From the latest version of LEED, LEED 3.0, to discussions of “LEEDigation.”

All of this and more were topics of the first Green Matters Conference this past week in New Orleans.  The fact that a conference of this type was feasible shows the growth in green construction and the desire of owners, including the GSA, to build in a sustainable way.  As I have said before here and at Musings, I am fully behind the sustainable building enterprise, but also see the risks for which we attorneys need to account.

We have new technology being used for the first time, and old technology being used in new ways. Insurance companies are dealing with a new standard of care and a level of risk created by longer time horizons on expectations relating to energy efficiency. Governments are looking for ways to legally enforce their mandates of LEED or other green certification. Contractors also have a particular level of risk that they did not face before.

Of course, this gives attorneys more work to do, and you the need to give them that work. Recently, newspapers have picked up on the potential for litigation based upon the new wave of green building and new mandates relating to sustainability. Hopefully, contractors and other construction professionals will see this trend coming and prepare for it through and early consultation with a knowledgeable attorney. Their contracts, actions, and insurance will all need to be reviewed in order to assure that you are properly prepared for the next wave of innovation.

If we are vigilant and prepare for the eventualities that could occur during the wonderful growth of sustainable building in the U.S., we will assure that the trend itself is sustainable and continues into the future.

As always, I strongly encourage comments below. Also, please check out my Construction Law Musings for other information on sustainable building and other construction topics.

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Yahya E. B. Henry

About Yahya E. B. Henry

Merging his passion for cities, real estate, tech and travel, Yahya is introducing the world to a new model of real estate development that draws from best practices around the globe.

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