Insurers, sureties slow to respond to green builders’ needs


by Leslie Conant Thorne, Contributing Writer

Green building is here to stay. Studies and surveys, such as Turner Construction Co.’s “Green Building Barometer,” show that developers intend to continue seeking the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification, despite some historic confusion over the certification program and recent worries regarding the council’s investigations resulting in possible decertification at various sites. According to the Green Building Council, the market for green construction is expected to rise to at least $96 billion and as much as $140 billion by 2013.

But with new green designs and products, new liabilities arise. What if an architect fails to deliver on an agreement to design a project to be LEED-certified? The American Institute of Architects’ standard form AIA B214-2007 lists an architect’s scope of services for LEED certification but fails to note the consequences if the building does not meet its certification goals. What about contractors? Can they be held responsible if LEED certification is not achieved? What happens if a LEED-certified building is decertified, resulting in the loss of tax incentives? And, of utmost importance to people in real estate and construction, does insurance cover these risks?

This article has been excerpted from the Austin Business Journal. To read the full article, click here (subscription required).

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