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

What Owners Look for in Green Building and Why Contractors Should Care

A recent article at the Ahead of Schedule Blog brings up a project owner’s perspective on “green” building.

The article starts by stating that:

Despite the explosion of articles, seminars and webinars on green building and development during the last year or so, there is a dearth of information in the development world regarding what project owners and developers who do want to build a green project should actually put in their design and construction contracts.

The post then lists several good points regarding what a construction project owner should look for and request in its contracts, particularly with a design professional.What Owners Look for in Green Building and Why Contractors Should Care

Construction Law Musings generally discusses these issues from a contractor, sub-contractor or construction attorney’s perspective and the potential liability inherent in constructing such projects and this article has much to recommend it, and not just from an owner standpoint. The fact remains that owners will be seeking sustainable building, whether through LEED or some other energy efficiency or environmental measure. Project Owners will either chose sustainable building for economic or moral reasons, or through government mandate.

Knowing the other side’s playbook is one way that a football team can prepare, the same holds true in pre-construction negotiation of contracts. Knowledge of the types of contractual provisions an owner will seek to include in a construction contract can and will go a long way toward a general contractor’s ability to negotiate a proper contract, both with the owner and its subcontractors. A working knowledge of the possible issues between owners and architects will inform a contractor’s working knowledge of the benefits and potential liabilities inherent in “green” building and keep it ahead of the curve. Such knowledge will also go a long way toward dealing with these issues of human action and the long time horizons inherent in sustainability.

In short, just like a football coach who would love to know the other teams next play, contractors should be sure to check out this article and it’s insight into an owner’s “playbook.”

Update: For more on this check out Tim Hughes’ post at the Virginia Real Estate, Land Use and Construction Law blog.

As always, I encourage your comments below. Please subscribe to keep up with the latest Construction Law Musings.

What Owners Look for in Green Building and Why Contractors Should Care
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21 Responses to What Owners Look for in Green Building and Why Contractors Should Care

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  11. I think you really hit on an important point. Being an effective lawyer is not only representing and understanding your client’s view point, but also extrapolating the views of the other side of the table.
    .-= Timothy R. Hughes´s last blog post .. Dead People Cannot Talk: Get Your Real Estate Contracts in Writing =-.

  12. Thanks for the comment Tim. It’s never a bad thing to know (or at least have an idea) what the competition or other side of a negotiation may be thinking.
    .-= Christopher G. Hill´s last blog post .. Reflections on a Construction Law Weekend =-.

  13. PS – liked this so much I riffed off it today 😛
    http://ow.ly/Ycgn
    .-= Timothy R. Hughes´s last blog post .. Dead People Cannot Talk: Get Your Real Estate Contracts in Writing =-.

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  15. […] What Owners Look for in Green Building and Why Contractors Should Care (constructionlawva.com) […]

  16. Old and New Business Strategies to Weather the Construction Recession | Construction Law Musings- Richmond, VA says:

    […] growth note, I think that sustainability and selling the economics of sustainability will be a growth area for contractors. Virginia contractors must speak the language of sustainability to not just […]

  17. I believe that any company seeking to make a mark in this industry has to widen their perspective as much as possible given that green construction is very much in its infancy compared to traditional buildings, and one of the ways to do so is to think and explore what owners would love and want in their green buildings.

  18. Keeping ahead of the laws and potential pitfalls behind green building and sustainability construction is important to the owner, designer and construction company. Green construction is arguably new, having surface in the last decade or so, and therefore not everyone is educated in the regulations and LEED standards.

  19. “In short, just like a football coach who would love to know the other teams next play, contractors should be sure to check out this article and it’s insight into an owner’s “playbook.” Excellent point. Contractors anticipating owners and their future moves is definitely a recipe for contracting success.

  20. Green is the way forward and more and more people buying property in the future will be asking about eco-friendly products, solar-powered systems and materials that are sustainable. Any forward-thinking architect and construction company should already be incorporating these into their business plans. Before they can do that they have to educate themselves on the advantages so agents can advise clients accordingly, and learn about the potential liabilities that could occur with green buildings to protect themselves and limit the possibility of this happening. It’s an exciting time for the construction industry!

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