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Building Energy Codes

Building energy codes have been used for many years as a cost-effective strategy to overcome barriers to energy efficiency in buildings. In this Analysis, J. Cullen Howe, of Arnold & Porter, provides an overview of building energy codes and examines them from the federal, state & local levels...

Green Building Blogger Shari Shapiro on Energy Regulation, Renewable Energy and Green Building Law, and LEED Decertification

Shari Shapiro, an attorney and LEED Accredited Professional, focuses her practice on green building law, which includes sustainable project financing, regulatory drafting, land use approvals, contracts, and conflict resolution. Shapiro is the Sustainability Coordinator for Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell...

A Conversation with Nancy Stoner, Deputy Assistant Administrator, U.S. EPA Office of Water

Nancy Stoner clearly brings enthusiasm and energy to her new position as Deputy Assistant Administrator, U.S. EPA Office of Water. Her excitement is palpable as she describes her commitment to clean water and a healthy environment and the great things that she hopes to accomplish during her tenure with...

Beware of the Far Reach of LEED Minimum Program Requirement #1 and #6

By George Nicholos As many are already aware, U.S. Green Building Council Inc., (USGBC) released LEED 3.0 last year. Along with the release came the inclusion of new Minimum Program Requirements (MPRs). MPRs are global requirements above and beyond the respective LEED point categories that every...

Beware of the Far Reach of LEED Minimum Program Requirement #1 and #6

By George Nicholos As many are already aware, U.S. Green Building Council Inc., (USGBC) released LEED 3.0 last year. Along with the release came the inclusion of new Minimum Program Requirements (MPRs). MPRs are global requirements above and beyond the respective LEED point categories that every...

New to LEED Version 3.0 Minimum Program Requirements: What Are These and Why Should I Be Concerned?

By George Nicholos U.S. Green Building Council Inc., (USGBC) recently rolled out version 3 of the Leadership and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating system. As of June 27, 2009 USGBC authorized the newly formed Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) to approve LEED certification...

New to LEED Version 3.0 Minimum Program Requirements: What Are These and Why Should I Be Concerned?

By George Nicholos U.S. Green Building Council Inc., (USGBC) recently rolled out version 3 of the Leadership and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating system. As of June 27, 2009 USGBC authorized the newly formed Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) to approve LEED certification...

California's Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act (Senate Bill 375): Back to the Future One More Time!

By Ms. Alene M. Taber In this Emerging Issues commentary, Alene M. Taber, an attorney with the firm of Jackson DeMarco Tidus Peckenpaugh, discusses California's landmark SB 375 legislation, the "Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act." The challenges posed by the legislation...

Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: President Obama Launches Better Buildings Initiative

By J. Cullen Howe, Environmental Law Specialist, Arnold & Porter LLP On February 3 rd , President Obama launched the Better Buildings Initiative , which is intended to make commercial buildings 20 percent more energy efficient over the next decade by catalyzing private sector investment through...

Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: Building Energy Audits and Benchmarking – A Growing Trend

By J. Cullen Howe, Environmental Law Specialist, Arnold & Porter LLP Increasingly, states and municipalities are requiring buildings within their jurisdictions to perform energy audits or otherwise disclose their energy use, usually referred to as “benchmarking.” A building...

Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: New York City Announces Green Lease Project

By J. Cullen Howe, Environmental Law Specialist, Arnold & Porter LLP On April 5, 2011, New York City announced that the law firm of WilmerHale signed a commercial office space lease with the developer of the World Trade Center reconstruction project that incorporates language for sharing the...

“Green” Expectations. . . or Just Expectations (“green” is not a specification; it’s a paint color)

I was having a discussion regarding "green" building with my friend and recent guest poster here at Musings , Nick Pacella (@ nmpacella ) this past week and (as often happens when I chat with the great folks in the construction world) it got me to thinking. Is "Green" its own separate...

Capital Review Group: Are You Ready to Take Advantage of the New Green Tax Incentives?

INTRODUCTION The Energy Policy Act of 2005 includes a tax deduction for investments in "energy-efficient commercial building property" designed to significantly reduce the heating, cooling, water heating, and interior lighting energy cost of new or existing commercial buildings. This energy...

Tall and Sustainable Is Not an Easy Fix

Way back in 2009, I discussed the interaction between taller and taller buildings and sustainable ("green") building . Back then, the reference was to the construction of skyscrapers in the Middle East and Europe. The initially referenced ENR article was written in the context of an urban retrofit...

Tall and Sustainable Is Not an Easy Fix

Way back in 2009, I discussed the interaction between taller and taller buildings and sustainable ("green") building . Back then, the reference was to the construction of skyscrapers in the Middle East and Europe. The initially referenced ENR article was written in the context of an urban retrofit...

Sustainability Trends in the Real Estate Sector: Market Forces at Work

A recently published PwC review identifies a number of business factors that are heightening attention to sustainability in the real estate sector. Among the key drivers are: • An increasing frequency in inquiries from investors such as APG Investment, CalPERS, and CalSRS, demanding real estate...

The World Green Building Council Makes “The Business Case for Green Building”

Is green building a wise business decision? That is the fundamental question the World Green Building Council’s report, “ The Business Case For Green Building ,” attempts to address. The report compiles actual cost and benefit data from peer-reviewed publications and includes numerous...

The Future of Building Codes & “Green” Building Programs

For this week’s Guest Post Friday here at Construction Law Musings, we would like to welcome back Sean Lintow Sr. (@ The_HTRC ) of SLS Construction & Building Solutions . Sean has over 20 years in the construction and project management fields and is now solely specializing in helping other...

GSA Speaks: Green Options Expand and The Fate of LEED v4 Deferred to Another Day

Under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA), GSA is required to evaluate green building certification systems for use by federal agencies every five years. Recently, the U.S. General Service Administration (GSA) completed its current review and provided updated recommendations to the...

LEED Silver Requirement To Be Introduced in Montgomery County

By Erica A. Leatham and Raquel D. Montenegro Montgomery County Councilmember Roger Berliner will introduce 13 legislative initiatives to increase the County's commitment, in the public and private sector, to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050. These initiatives are expected...

More Thoughts on “Green” (the Practice, not the Color) Building

It has been a while since I “mused” on the green building landscape. While I am a LEED AP and have presented on green (read “sustainable”) building in the past, I am not totally sold on LEED as the be all end all in sustainable construction (the USGBC is a private rating organization...

DC Considers Net Zero Building Report

By E. Lynn Grayson . The District of Columbia (DC) is one of the greenest areas with a number of requirements in place for energy conservation and greener new construction. A new report shows that DC is considering even more aggressive green initiatives than those already on the books. According...

Even with LEED, Clear Specifications and Proper Documentation are Necessary

A recent lawsuit filed in California over the proper documentation necessary for LEED certification ( discussed in detail at the Green Building Law Update ) emphasizes the fact that, no matter how detailed the LEED certification process seems to be, a mere reference to that process or a certain level...

Development in CBF Green Building Case in Maryland

Remember that case I discussed a while back relating to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) building in Annapolis, Maryland? Remember how it was a lawsuit over parallams and failure of those parallams? Do you even remember what a parallam is ? Well, that case was initially dismissed upon the Defendant’s...

Did the 4th Circuit “Tarnish” Sustainable Construction in the CBF Case?

Recently, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s “parallam” lawsuit, [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ]. Since that unpublished ruling on procedural grounds, much discussion has ensued. One particularly interesting...