One More Reason for Contractors to “Think Green”

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My good friend, and great Washington State construction attorney, Doug Reiser (@douglasreiser) recently posted a great set of thoughts at his Builder’s Counsel Blog. Doug’s inspiration for this great post was an article posted by ENR magazine outlining a proposal from the Department of Energy that Congress pass a statute requiring “sustainable design, siting and construction methods” on all federal new construction and renovations. Doug then goes on to discuss how the proposal is a great first step, though he opines that it falls short of the mark on particular protocols to implement its requirements.

I agree that in some ways this proposal is one that has merit. However, the devil is in the details. Without a particular protocol for implementing this noble goal, the proposal is hard to evaluate, so I won’t do so here.

More importantly, this is one more reason why contractors and design professionals need to learn to speak the language of sustainability particularly in times of recession. Whether we like it or not (and I am on the “like it” side of this), sustainable or “green” construction is here to stay. Despite the various legal, bonding and business issues that we construction lawyers discuss (some of which are coming home to roost), the government regulators from the Federal level on down to local zoning boards are requiring or soon will require such energy efficiency measures.

Doug’s great post is just one more reminder that in order for contractors and other construction professionals to survive and flourish they will need to become familiar with sustainable building and their local regulatory environments. Having a construction attorney as a business partner in this endeavor will greatly assist you to make sure that you deal with both the risks and the rewards of the new world of sustainable building.

As always, I welcome your comments below. Please subscribe to keep up with this and other Construction Law Musings.

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6 Responses to One More Reason for Contractors to “Think Green”
  1. matthewdevries (Matthew DeVries)
    June 21, 2010 | 9:46 AM

    Twitter Comment

    One more reason for contractractors to “think green” [link to post] (via @constructionlaw)

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  2. imadnaffa (Imad Naffa)
    June 21, 2010 | 10:02 AM

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    New Musings: One More Reason for Contractors to “Think Green” [link to post] /via @constructionlaw #green

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  3. imadnaffa (Imad Naffa)
    June 22, 2010 | 9:02 PM

    Twitter Comment

    One More Reason for Contractors to “Think Green” [link to post] /@constructionlaw #green #construction

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  4. Melissa Brumback
    June 24, 2010 | 1:22 PM

    I agree that green design will become standard, much like ADA. However, there are still a lot of naysayers on its effectiveness (e.g., Frank Gehry). But it’s only a matter of time.
    Melissa Brumback recently posted..The Architect’s and Engineer’s “Standard of Care” (Law note)My Profile

  5. Christopher G. Hill
    June 24, 2010 | 1:32 PM

    Thanks for the comment Melissa. I appreciate the conversation. I agree that the effectiveness argument continues. Some of that, I think, is directed more at LEED and rating systems and not so much at the efficiency stuff.
    Christopher G. Hill recently posted..LEED Certification Challenges: What is “Close Enough”?My Profile

  6. […] I have spoken on many occasions here at Construction Law Musings and elsewhere about the risks and rewards for contractors found in sustainable construction. The rewards were fairly apparent. New […]

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About Musings

I am a construction lawyer in Richmond, Virginia, a LEED AP, and have been nominated by my peers to Virginia's Legal Elite in Construction Law on multiple occasions. I provide advice and assistance with mechanic's liens, contract review and consulting, occupational safety issues (VOSH and OSHA), and risk management for construction professionals.

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