All construction projects involve elements of legal risk. Insurance and indemnity claims, delay claims and professional negligence claims are simply accepted risks when involved in construction. Green building projects are no exception to this rule, and often involve unique issues that are not present in typical construction projects.
Green building projects commonly employ new or untested construction materials, require construction methods that lack significant track records, and ultimate building performance often fails to meet design expectations. As such, green building projects may give rise to entirely new types of legal risk that should be considered and allocated early in the process.
In the past 15 years, the number of buildings for which green certifications have been sought has grown exponentially, and the growth rate of green building and sustainable construction has far outpaced the growth rate of the construction industry as a whole. As green building projects become increasingly common (and often increasingly required by the federal, as well as state and local governments), the unique legal risks presented by green building projects take on an increase importance.
Reprinted courtesy of Mark D. Shifton, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved.