The “green building” trend—which includes everything from designing development projects to include onsite solar panels, minimizing energy use, siting projects to use existing infrastructure, and a host of other “environmentally friendly” techniques—is gaining momentum. According to McGraw-Hill, green building is expected to triple by 2015, ultimately representing 40–48 percent of the nonresidential construction market. While there are clear advantages to building “green,” along with opportunity comes the potential for risk. As the number of green buildings increase, so too does the likelihood that claims may be filed related to the design, construction, certification, operation, and marketing of these projects. The potential legal claims that may arise related to green buildings include claims for breach of contract, false advertising, personal injury, and product liability. Linda Schilling, Charity Gilbreth and John Wilson have authored a Client Alert that will be of interest to anyone dealing with green buildings—including developers, designers, investors, occupants, and consultants.
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