Back in January here at GRELJ, I critiqued Andrew Burr of CoStar’s list of the top ten green building stories from 2008 by noting his lack of any reference to the green building litigation and associated risk management issues that began to emerge during the course of last year. Accordingly, I was pleased to see his recent column acknowledging some of the risks inherent with marketing green buildings, both in project-specific materials as well as securities disclosures. In Mr. Burr’s piece, both Paul D’Arelli of Greenberg Traurig and Brian Anderson of Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek (who describes the securities issue in detail in his Understanding the Business of Green article, available via the links below), among others, note the importance of educating owners about the terminology associated with the LEED certification process and the potential legal dangers of misrepresenting a property’s green design features in terms of ultimate building performance.
Tag Archives | Brian Anderson
Much of the discussion with respect to the liability issues surrounding sustainable building has focused on the commercial sector, so I was interested to see my friend Brian Anderson, a real estate partner in the Madison, Wisconsin office of Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C, quoted in a brief article suggesting risk management best practices for home builders in a recent article posted by Professional Builder. The article suggests that LEED for Homes and NAHB’s National Green Building Program may soon open the doors for insurance claims and litigation arising out of green projects that do not perform as promised. In the article, Mr. Anderson actually describes a matter his office handled where a builder did not obtain the anticipated level of certification for a residential project. “We were struggling to determine the value of the certification when the claim settled,” he told PB. At least in the commercial context, a jumping off point for plaintiffs who assert these types of claims could be the studies- many of which are promulgated by the USGBC and its constituents- that tout the higher leasing and purchasing figures for LEED-certified buildings.