Green & Design - May/June 2009 - (Page 52)

legal Here Come the Lawyers The rapid increase in sustainable design and construction comes with an abundance of legal issues related to green building By Richard J. Sobelsohn, Esq., LEED AP This is the first in a three-part series on legal green issues. Subsequent installments will appear in Green and Design in July/August and September/October. Sustainable development works, not only for fighting global warming, preserving animal habitats, vegetation, ground water, the ozone, and air quality, but also economically. The prudent developer in the 21st century is building and renovating/retrofitting for tomorrow, and saving money for tomorrow as well. When one considers that the payback period for most energy efficient/water efficient/environment-friendly materials and apparatus is only a few years, it no longer makes sense to postpone a retrofit or not to adopt this type of construction. However, there are myriad legal issues to consider in the development of green buildings—those meeting either the USGBC LEED certification requirements or other standards to qualify for status as a sustainable, environmentally friendly, energy efficient building. Some of these relate to construction/renovation, some to leasing, and others to owner/manager aspects of property development and operation. While real estate developers may, prior to acquisition, only be concerned with traditional aspects of the acquisition, new construction, or renovation of an existing property, they may neglect to focus on the possibility of meeting green building standards in the future, either for LEED or similar certification, or to meet newly promulgated local, state, or federal requirements. Examples of this would be a failure to address these “green” opportunities in due diligence and professional engagements. Similarly, though commercial property owners/managers may be concerned with meeting green standards today, they should also draft service/maintenance agreements with continued commissioning in mind. Development of real estate has turned a new corner as the end of 52 | May/June 2009

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Green & Design - May/June 2009

Green & Design - May/June 2009
LEED v3: A Highly Evolved Solution
Book Review
Learning Curve
Environmental Trends in Kitchen Design
The Butterfly Effect
Eastern Promise
Social Science
Retail Remedy
They Speak for the Trees
Up to the Challenge
Here Come the Lawyers
Green Gets Political
The Hardest Part of Being Green
Products: Designer’s Picks
Sources and Ad Index

Green & Design - May/June 2009