Thoughts on construction law from Christopher G. Hill, Virginia construction lawyer, LEED AP, mediator, and member of the Virginia Legal Elite in Construction Law

Sustainability Takes Hold

Skyscraper and greenAn article in the latest issue of Constructor Magazine, the publication of the AGC of America, makes a point that I have been making for a while, namely that sustainable building is here to stay.

The article quotes several contractor members of the AGC and essentially concludes that

Green is the new gold

I agree. Especially in tough economic times such as these, contractors and subcontractors need to distinguish themselves. Owners need to save money through more sustainable and energy efficient practices. Possibly more importantly, government is jumping into the breach to require such building practices, whether through building codes or LEED certification requirements.

Not only is such activity a moral imperative, but it makes good economic sense. For this reason construction professionals must learn how to “talk the talk” of sustainability. To miss this train could mean bankruptcy or worse given current trends.

Of course the risks must be taken into account. Contracts must be drafted in such a way that those performing the work are not held accountable for uncontrollable human interaction with a building so that contractors and subcontractors will be ready to do what is necessary for a sustainable building future. A qualified construction attorney can help.

In short (like that isn’t too late at this point), while construction professionals must learn to build “green” to survive, they also need to make sure they don’t die trying.

As always, I strongly encourage comments below. Also, please subscribe to keep up with this and other Construction Law Musings.

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14 Responses to Sustainability Takes Hold

  1. […] La place du marché demandera des bâtiments verts comme le produit de construction de ligne de base. C’est particulièrement vrai aux marchés que montrent des signes de vitalité économique où la construction, le réaménagement, ou la rénovation se produiront probablement. (Voir par exemple l’article AGC récent accentué par notre ami Chris Hill). […]

  2. You’re right Christopher, green isn’t going anywhere but up. It’s going to be a big year for the development of new and existing sustainable buildings. The demand for green buildings will continue to dictate the development of industry products and services. We’re addressing this demand with new Contract Documents and sustainable clauses.

    It’s an exciting time in the industry – green building will improve the performance of our buildings and help spur economic activity.

  3. It is difficult to convey the value of healthy indoor environments as they can impact a family’s medical care budget, and the protracted “payback” schedules of energy efficiency. Any suggestions?…

  4. But think of the unnecessary costof all the “green” hype. And what’s wrong with engineers and constructors just dong what they know best, which they should be doing anyway? Why does everything need to be named “sustainable” and “green”.

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