Monday, September 3, 2007

Green Litigation--The Next Wave Of Green Building

As I sit here today, I will guarantee that the next year will bring the first wave of green litigation--litigation over buildings that fail to live up to their green billing. For example, in Australia, the Melbourne City Council's new state-of-the-art office building, which was "green star" certifiied, many of the green features do not work. http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/civic-showpiece-failing-to-deliver/2007/08/28/1188067111145.html The daylighting proved too dim for the workers' needs, a greywater system was not operational. Worse still, some are causing active issues, like allowing legionella into the cooling system.

Who is to blame when the green features fail? Will the contracts among the relevant players--architect, general contractor, developer, commissioner--be robust enough to allocate the liability? I doubt it--and lawyers, judges and juries will be introduced into a brave new world of environmental litigation. With new technology and lots of hype comes broken promises--and with them, litigation.

3 comments:

mike said...

You might check out the work by Transcend Equity (www.transcended.com) because a byproduct of what they do is real, quantifiable environmental benefits.

Mike

jeff said...

I've heard that there’s concern in the surety bond market about the long-term performance of green buildings and materials. The question is “Will the building perform over the long term or will the ‘cool, hip green building elements’ fail sooner than expected resulting in consequences for surety. Thoughts?

Joe said...

Does anyone know of any U.S. cases out there now where "Green Building" is at issue?