Legal Issues Affecting Sustainable Buildings

In the world of sustainable development, whether constructing an entire project from the ground-up, renovating or retrofitting a small office or an entire building, there are a myriad of agreements a property owner executes with contractors, architects, property managers, engineers, interior designers, service companies, tenants and others. All parties obligated to deliver "green" products or services to a "green" building should be cognizant of and fully understand the obligations required under their respective contracts and liabilities if those obligations are not satisfied. This course examines what a green building is, how a building gets certified and maintains its certification from the United States Green Building Council ("USGBC") as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design "LEED" building, the legal climate in which sustainable development exists and what role the attorney should play in the entire process. The subject will be taught from a practitioner's perspective and include a discussion of the following topics: the attorney's duties associated with: acquisitions; construction agreements, architects agreements; the USGBC LEED rating system and the application for certification; the United States regulatory climate and the latest federal, state and local enactments; various contracts with green specific provisions; insurance issues and emerging case law and litigation. As part of this course there will be a negotiation simulation and various case studies.

Grading and Method of Evaluation:
Letter grade with pass/fail option. A paper is required.