Recently, many in the construction industry appear to be adopting the standards and practices of green buildings on new and existing projects. With this shift to more sustainable approaches by the various participants and with the corresponding need for parties that specialize in these practices to fulfill an owner’s goals, the applicable standard of care for a given relationship when a problem occurs also may become an undetermined and overlooked risk for those involved in these types of projects. As such, the applicable standard of care for liability situations concerning green building construction will inevitably become an issue the courts will need to address upon the filing of a dispute from one of these projects.
A short time ago, the courts came close to deciding this issue in Shaw Development v. Southern Builders, but the parties reached a settlement prior to the trial, which precluded the court from providing some type of guidance in its opinion. Moreover, much of the research concerning an applicable standard of care for construction focuses on traditional methods. With this in mind, the meaningful and unique differences for an applicable standard of care for those involved in a green building project requires an understanding of the most likely court treatment based on existing common law and approved strategies for creating a different level through the contractual relationship.
Therefore, anyone involved in a green building development needs to take an active role to make sure their written agreement will call for the correct and appropriate standard of care so that the risks associated with the currently undefined common law outcome do not become an emergent risk from a project gone wrong.
- Green Building,
- Green Globes,
- Standard of Care,
- Real Estate
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/darren_prum/3/