Best Practices Construction Law

Best Practices Construction Law

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Matt has written articles and given presentations on all aspects of construction law. Find a resource here.

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Best Practices top posts include claims preparation, contract drafting, and litigation pitfalls. You don’t want to miss these ones.

Matthew DeVries

Matt is a construction & litigation attorney at Burr & Forman LLP and father of seven young kids.

Category Archives: Green Building

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FTC Releases Revised Green Guides

Posted in Environmental
After nearly five years of deliberations, the Federal Trade Commission has released its revised "Green Guides," which are aimed at environmental marketing claims. The guidelines were first introduced in 1992 and updated in 1996 and 1998. (For more history and context for the Green Guides, we invite you to read the FTC’s 314-page statement of… Continue Reading

Hospital Alert: EPA Updates Energy Tool to Support Greater Efficiency

Posted in Green Building, Healthcare Construction
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA), healthcare facility owners and organizations spend nearly $8.8 billion on energy each year to meet patient needs.  To improve energy efficiency, thousands of hospitals rely on the EPA’s Energy Star tools to help track consumption and prioritize facilities for energy upgrades. Last week, EPA released an important… Continue Reading

Five AIA Construction Documents Go Green

Posted in Contract Docs, Green Building
Earlier this week, I received an alert that "Five AIA Contract Documents are going green!" Developed using AIA’s flagship documents as a base, and incorporating concepts and model language from the AIA’s Guide for Sustainable Projects, the new documents address the unique roles, risks and opportunities encountered on sustainable design and construction projects.  “The development… Continue Reading

Healthcare Is Fastest Growing Market for Prefabrication and Modular Construction

Posted in Environmental, Green Building, Healthcare Construction, LEED
Timing is everything!  As I was preparing for a LEED for Healthcare presentation this week, one of my partners sent me a piece about the innovative use of "pods" to cut building costs. The article by Mike Boyer focused on a team of two plumbing and mechanical contracting firms who want to transform how the… Continue Reading

What Do Global Green Building Codes and Standards Look Like? See For Yourself!

Posted in Green Building
My transition to a new law firm has come with a few new perks, such as working with a tight-knit group of construction and environmental lawyers who practice both nationally and internationally. One of our bright young stars, Lauran Sturm, recently compiled a comprehensive list of global codes and standards governing sustainable design and green… Continue Reading

Should Owners and Contractors Worry about Gifford’s Suit Against USGBC?

Posted in Case Law, Green Building
Initially filed as a class action suit in October 2010 against the USGBC, Henry Gifford’s lawsuit took a turn this week when he filed an amended complaint.  The original lawsuit alleged violations of the Sherman and Lanham Acts for “deceiving users” of the LEED rating system.  The lawsuit questioned whether "LEED buildings use less energy than conventionally-built buildings.”… Continue Reading

An Explanation of the Proposed (and Unofficial) LEED 2012 Requirements and Credits

Posted in LEED
In what has been unofficially called LEED 2012, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) opened the first public comment period from November 8, 2010 to January 14, 2011 for the next version of the LEED rating system.  Yes, that means the first public comment period closes this Friday. According to the USGBC’s LEED Rating Development page, the… Continue Reading

Green Roof Benefits and Risks: Music City Center in Nashville May Have Both

Posted in Green Building, Tennessee
When asked about potential cost overruns on the Music City Center almost year ago, the Center’s representative Larry Atema stated bluntly, "There aren’t going to be any."  True to that commitment, Anne Paine of the Tennessean reported this past weekend that the Center’s "green roof has grown less green." According to the article, two pieces… Continue Reading

Guest Post: Green Marketing Under FTC Scrutiny

Posted in Environmental
Today’s guest post is by fellow Stites attorney Bill Gorton, who acts as national counsel to numerous clients on natural resource, environmental regulatory and land and water resources matters. He has been counsel in the development of over 10 power plants. If you have questions, you can contact Bill by email or phone at 859-226-2241.… Continue Reading

Guest Post: Ten Ways to Minimize Legal Pitfalls of Sustainable Design and Construction

Posted in Green Building, Kentucky
 Today’s guest post is by Angela Stephens, a fellow construction attorney in the Construction Service Group and Green Law Group at Stites & Harbison PLLC. She is a LEED Accredited Professional and is the first attorney in the Commonwealth of Kentucky to achieve Green Advantage® certification.  Sustainable Design and Construction raises unique legal issues for all parties… Continue Reading

Cost v. LEED Certification Debate Continues: One County Finds Middle Ground

Posted in Green Building, LEED, Legislation
It really is impossible to put your arms around the number of green building and energy performance policies and codes that are sprouting up all across the nation.  When a project involves private commercial development or public investment, one of the most discussed issues is whether the cost of obtaining LEED certification from the U.S.… Continue Reading

What Are the Benefits of LEED Certification? Some Say Benefits Don’t Justify High Costs

Posted in Green Building, LEED
As a follow-up to my post yesterday about the costs of LEED certification, I was not surprised to read the following lead line in a local newspaper in Cary, North Carolina: "Cary wants to be green. Just not certifiable." According to the article, the local town council voted to skip the green building certification process because of the high costs.  "If the… Continue Reading

What Are the Real Costs of LEED Certification? You May Be Surprised.

Posted in Green Building, LEED
Most owner and developers would imagine that the most significant costs of LEED certification are the front-end registration and back-end submittal costs.  Are they correct?  Depends. Environmental Building News prepared a primer on the costs of LEED certification for commercial construction.  As noted in the article, LEED certification includes various costs that must be considered separately in order… Continue Reading

How Can You Use Executive Authority to Achieve Greener Buildings? USGBC and Other Tell Us!

Posted in Federal Construction, Green Building
Whenever a 100-page legislative or legal report is released by an agency, association or group of individuals, the best place to go in the document is the Summary or Findings sections.  So, yesterdary, when the USGBC, AIA, SMACNA and other groups issued its 93-pager entitled Using Executive Authority to Achieve Greener Buildings: A Guide for Policymakers to Enhance… Continue Reading

Austin’s First LEED Platinum Home Featured at ABA Construction Forum Breakfast

Posted in LEED, Texas
I am in Austin, Texas this week attending the ABA Forum on the Construction Industry’s annual meeting.  One of the ways that I got more involved in the Forum was participating in the activities of one of the twelve divisions.  I am a member of Division 10: Legislation and Environment, which helps assemble information regarding case law and legislation… Continue Reading

Green Building Reality Show? Music City Center Contractor Nabbed on Video Disposing Recyclable Materials

Posted in Green Building
You don’t have to click too many times through your channels on your television set without finding a reality television show. There is one for finding the right man, losing weight to the extreme, rebuilding a destitute home in five days, and even eating spiders and beetles. Earlier this week on the evening news I witnessed… Continue Reading

Vancouver Olympic Village Receives “Platinum LEED Medal” in Winter Olympics: Is the Price Worth It?

Posted in Green Building, LEED
For the next couple of weeks, the only thing you will see on our living room television is the Winter Olympics.  Luge…daring!.  Freestyle moguls…awesome!  Snowboard cross…cool!  Figure skating…good time to surf the Internet! Last night, while watching figure skating surfing the Internet, I stumbled upon this article about the Olympic and Paralympic Village in Vancouver having received the highest certification… Continue Reading