Category: Green Building

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When “Non-Binding” LOIs Become Binding

A letter of intent (“LOI”) is often the first document in a proposed deal – a summary of a range of key terms or concepts for negotiation toward entering into a final, formal agreement. But what seems like a simple document can be much more than a mere list of possible terms to be discussed … Continue Reading

Beware of LEED Minimum Program Requirements

In my latest Daily Journal of Commerce Construction column, I discuss some the potential risks for project teams to consider when drafting construction agreements under the current version of the LEED building rating program (3.0).  Version 3.0 provides for Minimum Program Requirements ("MPRs") which a project must comply with to be certified under the LEED … Continue Reading

Contractors Still Have Time: Certain CA Energy-Related Regulations Delayed to July 1, 2014

Residential and non-residential contractors in California have been waiting for the new California energy-related regulations to be issued for the January 1, 2014 compliance deadline.  Although many became effective on January 1, delays in the software performance compliance programs by the California Energy Commission required that additional time be provided for contractors to obtain and … Continue Reading

Are LEED certification challenges on the horizon?

In my latest Daily Journal of Commerce Construction column, I discuss generally the grounds for, and the potential consequences of, certification challenges on LEED-rated projects. As LEED-certified projects grow in popularity and abundance in the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere, all project participants need to know the basis for challenging LEED certification and the impacts arising from … Continue Reading

LEED-igation: Fact or Fiction?

While many in the Pacific Northwest claim to have seen Sasquatch or Bigfoot, few have any evidence to substantiate the existence of this fabled creature. Regardless, hope rings eternal for some that one day this beast will be catalogued as a genuine, albeit elusive, example of the “missing link” between man and ape. Applying this … Continue Reading

LEED Avoids Class Action, Energy Savings Claim Left Untested

There’s big news in the battle between consultants in the green building industry and the U.S. Green Building Council (“USGBC”). Following almost a year of litigation, it appears that the USGBC may have defeated a $100 million class action lawsuit brought by engineers and designers, according to a court order issued last week. The plaintiffs’ complaint filed … Continue Reading

Bond. Performance Bond.

Performance bonds—insurance-like arrangements in which a surety (the bonding company) contractually agrees to pay for the performance of a principal (the contractor) to an obligee (the owner) in case the principal fails to perform the obligations of its contract—should be used more often in construction agreements to provide owners with a source of funds to … Continue Reading

You Are a Project Owner or Developer Who Wants to Build a Green Project? So, What Do You Actually Put in Your Contracts?

Despite the explosion of articles, seminars and webinars on green building and development during the last year or so, there is a dearth of information in the development world regarding what project owners and developers who do want to build a green project should actually put in their design and construction contracts. Here is what … Continue Reading

LEED Decertification

If you think LEED certification of a building is a one-time deal, think again. USGBC’s latest version of LEED (version 3) establishes several new changes to LEED certification. Two of those changes are particularly significant. First, USGBC now requires building owners to submit operational performance data on a recurring basis as part of the LEED … Continue Reading

The Green Building Bailout

Can green buildings save the economy? Maybe that’s a stretch, but green buildings do play a significant role in the country’s GDP. By 2010, the value of green building construction is projected to be $60 billion. Perhaps more important in these times, the government is recognizing that greening our schools, homes, and office buildings could put thousands … Continue Reading
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