his week, September 24-30, marks the annual Work Green Building Week, which aims to motivate and empower us all to deliver greener buildings. The event is promoted by the World Green Building Council (WGBC), which also produces an annual report with key statistics on green building space and policy changes around the world.
This year’s event is asking everyone to find opportunities to take action and commit to making a change in the homes they build, lease or live in, highlighting that 40 percent of global energy consumption comes from buildings.
Green buildings, red tape
Many property owners in New York and New Jersey are already making efforts to build environmentally sustainable structures, and more will likely follow suit in the coming years. However, achieving a green building certification does come with its challenges and legal uncertainties. If you fail to achieve a green certification, there can be significant damages.
Green projects often must run through several regulations and contractual requirements, including but not limited to:
- Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), which is the most widely used green building rating system in the world;
- The National Green Building Standard, which specifically certifies residential properties; and
- Energy Star, which certifies commercial buildings
As you spend this week reflecting on how your next project can be sustainable, remember the details that will likely need to be addressed to be truly green. It benefits to the environment and yourself in the long term to make sure all the potential legal concerns for achieving this status are managed.