Speakers at the first Green Real Estate Summit, which took place March 5, 2008, at the Practising Law Institute (www.pli.edu) in New York City, confirmed that relationships between real estate parties and the documents that govern those relationships are evolving in response to the need for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
“Real estate plays a major role in the United States in terms of contributing to greenhouse gas emissions, consumption of water, energy, and natural resources, and generation of waste,” according to summit chair Ellen Sinreich, Esq., LEED AP, president of Green Edge, LLC, an environmental consulting firm specializing in green buildings. “That means real estate can be a big part of the solution.”
The green real estate movement sweeping the country presents both opportunities and reward for the real estate industry, including owners, developers, lenders, and tenants.
In order to address these issues, Sinreich gathered experts on climate change, global warming, and the legal and regulatory landscape to discuss the opportunities available to the real estate industry to create value and increase profitability by embracing sustainability. The speakers discussed how development and investment decisions are being impacted by climate change. Waterfront developments were cited as particularly vulnerable. The speakers agreed that projects that can demonstrate that they are sustainable will be more likely to survive the permitting process and may enjoy faster permitting.
Summit speakers and their topics:
Les Lo Baugh, a partner in the Los Angeles office of Fulbright & Jaworski LLP (“LEED Green Building Incentives”).
Edna Sussman, LEED AP, with New York law firm Hoguet Newman Regal & Kenney LLP (“Climate Change Regulations and Legislation”).
Shannon D. Sentman, LEED AP, with Holland & Knight LLP, Washington, D.C. (“Design and Construction-related Documents: 5 Key Reasons for Managing Green Risks”).
Frederick R. Fucci, a partner at attorneys Arnold & Porter LLC, New York (“Climate Change and Alternative Energy Sources”).Elizabeth Cooper and Frank Mobilio, AIA, LEED AP, with the Staubach Company, Washington, D.C. (“The Greening of the Law Firm”).Christopher R. Pyke, PhD, Director of Climate Change Services for CTG Energetics Inc., based in Alexandria, Va. (“Climate Change: Risks and Opportunities for Real Estate”).&\ul>
Michael Brooks, an attorney with Aird & Berlis LLP, Toronto, and Executive Director of the Real Property Association of Canada, was unable to attend, but Sinreich presented his research for “Green Leases: The Next Step in Greening Commercial Buildings.”