In the Hamptons, the Village of Sag Harbor is among the first municipalities in New York State to authorize a green building property tax exemption passed last summer in Albany by Governor Cuomo.
Tag Archives | LEED legislation
Opposition to pending LEED-driven legislation in the Garden State by the New Jersey Building Materials Dealers Association suggests an increase in the level of scrutiny for state- and local-level green building regulations in 2010.
Some interesting legislative developments are taking place right now in Nashville, Tennessee that implicate many of the green building policy issues that we’ve been wrestling with over the past few months here at GRELJ. Since 2007, metropolitan Nashville has required most new and major public projects to larger than 5000 square feet or costing more than $2 million to earn LEED certification. Recently, city councilman Duane Dominy of suburban Antioch introduced legislation that would “allow the Metropolitan Government to pursue an alternative sustainable development design standard to LEED certification based upon pre-determined energy reduction and efficiencies. If Metro chose to pursue an alternative to LEED, the contractor would be required to warrant for a three-year period that the annual energy use for the building will be less than similar buildings” or will earn a minimum score under EPA’s Energy Star program.
On July 1, new green building legislation applying to private development took effect in Baltimore. Council Bill 07-0602, which was signed in August of 2007, required that the city establish green building standards for new or substantially renovated commercial and multi-family residential buildings larger than 10,000 square feet. City-owned buildings were required to comply with the new legislation beginning January 1, 2008, city-subsidized buildings by January 1, 2009, and all other buildings this past July 1. While the city is developing its own Baltimore-specific green building standards that should be released by the end of 2009, in the interim, in order to obtain a building permit, all buildings applying must be “equivalent” to LEED Silver. The legislation does not require formal LEED certification, but owners must submit a checklist for the appropriate LEED rating system as part of the plans submittal for a new building permit. Checklists must set forth specific credits the project will pursue, briefly describe how each credit will be achieved, and (interesting to note from a legal perspective) the parties responsible for each credit. The checklist must also be signed by a LEED AP who is not an employee of the building owner at the time of submittal. Again, although certification is not required, in order to obtain a building occupancy permit from the city, at the time of occupancy permit application, project teams must submit a completed checklist indicating which credits the project met successfully, signed by a non-employee LEED AP. As we’ve discussed frequently here at GRELJ, all of these requirements could raise interesting- and novel- liability issues in the event that a project fails to receive a building permit or certificate of occupancy as originally contemplated. However, the city’s development community is calling for Baltimore’s City Council to reconsider the legislation based on perceived additional green building first costs and asking it to propose an incentive-based structure in its place.
Connecticut’s construction industry is voicing some of the theoretical legal concerns that many commentators have pointed out with respect to proposed state-level, LEED-driven legislation.
There’s quite a bit of important green building-related activity taking place across the Hudson River in Hoboken, New Jersey.
Across the country, green building legislation could have significant legal and insurance implications that practitioners are just beginning to explore in earnest.
“Managing Risk in Sustainable Building: Policy, Performance & Pitfalls” appears to be the first academic conference to analyze in detail the legal issues arising out of green building and sustainable project initiatives.
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom has proposed some of the country’s toughest green building legislation applicable to private construction.
Two green building bills in Pittsburgh- one approved and one pending- illustrate green building legislation at its finest and, perhaps, at its worst.