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Problems and Risks Associated With Green Construction

OnDemand Webinar (85 minutes)

The public hears many benefits of pursuing environmental building, aka green or sustainable design and construction, as this emerging market segment continues to expand. Diverse owner/developer groups are embracing these modern technologies, design elements and operational models. However, when packaged together, green design strategies and systems can present unique new challenges in risk and liability that need to be well understood in order to reduce potential for failure or under performance, and litigation that may result from unforeseen problems. The lack of proper preparation to address risk and liability in a building project may cause a developer to confront problems in the form of red-tape, job site interruptions and negative bottom-line impacts.

In this OnDemand Webinar, we will explore some of the challenges that may be encountered when building green and going beyond the basic principles of conventional construction. You will learn risk considerations unique to green design and construction, failure modes that may be encountered, steps to identify and help to avoid failures that could impact qualification of a project under green rating systems, how the design process can help avoid material and operational failures, the necessity of communication among all project participants to enhance achievement of green criteria and standards, design elements that enhance energy efficiency and reduce environmental impact, discussion of direct and hidden costs of failure, and provisions in traditional design and construction contract documents that need to be reevaluated when going green. Documentation is particularly vital in rated green buildings to ensure performance goals are met.

We will also cover issues like allocating responsibility of performance; coordination of obligations; and risks and consequences of not achieving the desired result or objectives, including unique insurance, indemnity, consequential damage and liability considerations.

Learning Objectives:

  • You will be able to define risk in terms of the green construction industry.
  • You will be able to identify major concerns of how buildings fail.
  • You will be able to explain major environmental building risk and liability issues.
  • You will be able to describe how the design process can help avoid material and operational failures.


Bryan C. Jackson, Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis LLP



• Definitions

• Defining Risk and Liability in Construction

• How Green Buildings Fail

Design Process

• What Matters Most? Process of Integrating Key Stakeholders Into Project

• What Are Pre-Construction Services and Do They Help Mitigate Risk?

• Role of Design Team

• Integrated Design Paradigm - Why It's Better; Challenges

• Building Information Modeling

• Linear Design Paradigm - Prone to Failure and Why

• Whole Systems Integrated Process Guide - 2007 ANSI/MTS 1.0

• Dynamic Project Management

• Total Commissioning Process - Development of QA/QC/QV Programs

Examples: What Can Go Wrong in Green Building

• Sustainable Building Sites

• Water Efficiency; Energy and Atmosphere

• Indoor Environmental Quality

• Environmental-Preferable Building Materials: Promise vs. Performance

• Innovation in Design

Recognizing and Addressing Unique Contractual Implications

• Identify Roles and Responsibilities of Owner, A/E, Contractors and Subcontractors - Creating and Vetting the Project Team

• Issuance of Change Orders - Unique Considerations

• Defenses to Claims of Nonperformance by Contractor

• Identification of Appropriate Neutral Parties, Pre-Litigation

• Incentivize Contractor to 'Buy-In' to the Green Building Process

• Special Insurance and Bonding Considerations

• What Training Resources Are Available

Summary and Conclusions

• The Green Design Paradigm

• Avoiding Process, Physical and Operational Failures

• Importance of Integrated Design For Green Projects; Major Problems To Avoid