Thursday, February 10, 2011

Green Building Law Resources

Efficiency Vermont is sponsoring the Better Building by Design conference in Burlington Vermont this week. Yesterday's sessions offered a host of excellent speakers on energy efficiency and green building issues, and the conference continues today. It's s great opportunity to get up to speed this rapidly evolving and quickly expanding industry.

There is not a specific panel on the many legal issues that builders and consultants in this industry often encounter, but several of the technical panels have alluded to some of these issues. For example, the panel discussion yesterday on retrofitting the envelop of older buildings touched in the common conflict between historic preservation regulations or goals, and energy efficiency goals. We see that conflict often in renewable energy development as well (placing solar panels on a building that is historically signifiant or eligible for listing). Other legal issues that can arise in the industry include, among many others:

- performance certification or compliance

- contractual issues associated with building energy performance (For example, potential liability for failure to achieve certain performance standards or expectations, particularly where eligibility for tax credits or incentives is affected);

- liability for, and consumer fraud claims related to, green marketing claims (for example ensuring that all claims are consistent with requirements of the Federal Trade Commission's green marketing guidelines);

- warranty issues and allocation of risk between manufacturer, consultants, contractors and subcontractors.

I've included links to a few of my favorite informational resources below for those interested in learning more about the legal issues associated with energy efficiency and green building.

- Green Building Law Update

-Green Building Law Blog

-Ohio Green Building Law

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