As I sit down to write my annual list of resolutions for contractors, I am amazed at how much things changed in 2020. Construction was going well and then, in March 2020, COVID-19 hit. At first, we thought it was going to be a disaster for the construction industry. States, cities and towns shut down projects and many applied for PPP loans. Then, something amazing happened. Construction was considered an essential service and everyone was back to work.  That said, the work world changed: companies were donating their PPE to frontline workers, COVID-19 protocols had to be followed and paperwork had to be filed. Everyone was scrambling to figure out how to comply and keep their businesses going. So, you may or may not ask, what was I, as a construction lawyer doing? I spent March and April thinking about the new risks contractors/construction companies were facing and developing contract clauses to protect the industry. I wrote a number of blog posts with clauses to add to your contra

Thoughts on Green Building

Although the concept of Green Construction has been around for quite some time, there seems to have been more discussion recently about using the technology to reduce heating costs, benefit the environment and as a marketing angle. I belong to a builder's association, and there have been more courses offered in green construction and LEEDS certification. I am not going to pretend to be an expert in this area, but I am trying to learn more about the "green" movement and how I can offer advice to my clients in this arena. For example, I learned about LEEDS-AP certification which a limited number of lawyers in Massachusetts have obtained.

The National Association of Home Builders offers a Certified Green Professional designation. The requirements for LEEDS is changing as of March 30, 2009, and for that reason, I am looking into getting my CGP.

So, what does this mean for you?
  • Educate yourself about options and take continuing education classes.
  • Learn about the pros and cons of green products and determine which ones to offer to your clients.
  • Include clauses in your contracts when introducing green options and be wary of making claims or promises about results.
  • Familiarize yourself with government rebates that could benefit your clients.
  • Pay attention to what may happen with the new administration.
  • Distinguish yourself by marketing and taking advantage of the green movement by advertising real credentials, knowledge and experience.
  • Don't get caught up in green for green's sake..
  • Consider the true costs of going green.
  • Allow your values to play a part in your decisions.

The green movement is both exciting and daunting. It seems that everyone is hopping on the green train and none of us want to be left behind. At the same time, this area is ripe with the potential for fraud, false claims, and over-enthusiastic hype. It is important for builders to cut through the information that is being presented and determine which products and processes will provide real benefits in terms of cost savings and contributions to preserving our environment. I look forward to our learning together.

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