As I was following some of the posts by @imadnaffa on Twitter, I came across a post by a consultant that guarantees LEED Certification. This got me thinking about the myriad issues relating to the third party certification aspect of adding such certification to construction contracts and the relationship of consultants to this process.
Much has already been said, particularly at the Green Building Law Update, a great blog by my friend Chris Cheatham (@chrischeatham on Twitter), relating to the queasiness that overcomes a construction attorney at such guarantees. Many aspects of any “guarantee” need to be clarified. What about the energy reporting requirements that USGBC has imposed? Will this, and the seemingly unlimited time horizon of such reporting be included? Does any guarantee only kick in at the initial stage and the consultant then is no longer “on the hook?” What about continued commissioning and the vagaries of later behavior by facilities managers?
While I can see the marketing and business potential for such a guarantee, these are questions that I feel need to be answered. I am always wary of long time horizons in construction related matters. The longer the time horizon the more murky the liability issues become and the harder it is for a contractor or consultant to control its destiny. I am interested to see how this plays out in the future.
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