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Bruce Merwin in Law360: New Green Building Efforts Harbor Litigation Risks - Attys

The growing demand for sustainable buildings has set the stage for a wave of legal disputes as developers work to adhere to complex green standards while relying on construction contracts that have yet to catch up with the times, attorneys say...

Now that the market is showing signs of recovery, developers are confronting LEED requirements that can be complicated and tricky to meet, and many existing construction contracts fail to adequately address liabilities stemming from a failure to meet green standards.

A LEED certification gone awry can lead to a variety of costly consequences, including project delays, loan problems and city-imposed penalties, creating a recipe for legal disputes, attorneys say...

Bruce Merwin, a partner at Haynes and Boone LLP, says attorneys are also starting to consider — on a project-by-project basis — provisions designed to provide building owners some protection against the possibility that a large LEED-certified corporate office building could lose its certification down the road, which could create problems with all of the most important contracts that relate to the building, especially loans and leases.

“If a green building loses its certification, there’s going to be defaults and there’s going to be litigation,” Merwin said. "All of this is going to be flushed out in the next few years."

Excerpt from Law360, Nov. 17, 2011. To view the full article, click here (subscription required).