When a building designed to meet LEED standards fails to perform as expected or does not qualify for LEED certification, finding who is at fault and what remedies are available to the owner is a legal gray area. While owners and contractors understand the certification process for new green construction much better than they did a few years ago, there is still ambiguity.
With certain aspects of green building—like implementing innovations, selecting green products, retrofitting existing buildings and overall energy performance—uncertainty remains, and liability continues to be a difficult issue. Negligence occurs when the standard of care is not met, or when the professional’s performance falls below what a standard architect or engineer would do.
But with green design, the standard of care is a moving target. As a result, more contracts today contain language that holds parties accountable for following, say, LEED-compliant practices, without making them liable for factors beyond their control.
NOTE: This information is the opinion of the author/blogger and not the official position of IAPMO.