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The Role of Risk Management at Greenbuild versus West Coast Green

I think it’s interesting to compare the treatment that green building risk management issues received at Greenbuild as compared to West Coast Green. We pointed out over at gbNYC earlier this fall that the latter included a panel discussion titled “Packing a Parachute: Practices that Minimize Risk and Prompt Best Use of Green Features,” while the legal issues associated with building green received very little attention at Greenbuild. As we have noted extensively at gbNYC, the West Coast Green panel similarly stressed that there is no such thing as a form green construction contract or “magic” green provision that can satisfactorily account for the risks associated with green construction. It’s important for stakeholders – or other organizations staging similar conferences – to recognize that attorneys in this space are attempting to assist the industry in mitigating emerging risks up front, in the transactional context, rather than through litigation.

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Insurers Noting Increased Risks From Green Roof Installations

Green roofs may be pretty but they are a plaintiff construction lawyer’s dream come true. Many of them leak or contribute to indoor air quality issues and the growth of mold. Commercial insurers- including Zurich- are taking note, and advising their insureds to make sure that their green roofs are being properly maintained and were installed as required in the first place. Over at gbNYC, we pointed out an article in Property Week magazine that quoted a Zurich consultant noting these concerns. Part of the solution, as always, is to consider a comprehensive risk management program in advance of a green project designed to mitigate non-traditional sources of risk unanticipated by the project team.

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