Risk Management for LEED Construction Projects

Peter Kenter published an informative article at Canada’s Daily Commercial News and Construction Record entitled, Legal tips for construction firms pursuing LEED:

“We haven’t seen a lot of cases involving LEED-igation or sustainable building projects, but we know they’re coming,” says Danielle Stone, an associate with Blaney McMurtry LLP and a member of the firm’s commercial litigation group. “In the United States since 2007, there have been about 13 cases related to sustainable building.”

“A lot of insurance companies are hesitant to give coverage for these types of projects because they don’t know what the risks are,” says Stone. “For example, what are the risks of green roof building?”

“Check warranty and guarantee language to confirm that new green construction procedures or installation materials and/or techniques do not void the warranty of guarantee for a product.”

“Make sure that your sub-contractors know exactly what they’re doing,” says Stone.

While the article is directed at construction in Canada, it cites two high profile American cases as examples: Bain v. Vertex Architects (Illinois), and Shaw Development v. Southern Builders (Maryland). Danielle Stone offers some excellent risk management tips for builders, beginning with the importance of a clear and specific contract. The full article is definitely worth reading.