Seventy-five cities, 22 states and two federal agencies have instituted policies requiring or encouraging new construction to achieve some sort of "green" certification (LEED, Green Globes or an equivalent). Green building growth has been one of the few bright spots in an otherwise dreary construction market. Here are five topics to consider before starting your next green construction project:

  • Regulation: What is the regulatory landscape in your state or municipality regarding green buildings? Is some form of green certification required for public projects? Are incentives available?
  • Tax Credits. If incentives for green certification are available and the building fails to certify, is anyone liable?
  • Contracts. How do AIA B214 and the new ConsensusDOCS 310 Green Building Addendum allocate liability and risk for green certification? Does the standard contract reflect your intentions? Does it insure your goals will be met? If contracting with the newly-created "Green Building Facilitator," what terms should you include?
  • Green Measures. What happens if a green measure or piece of equipment underperforms, thus endangering green certification?
  • Bonding. Will a surety issue a performance bond for a project where the contract requires specific energy reductions or third party (USGBC, GBI) certification? If not, how can you reduce your exposure to the risk of noncompliance?