There are several risks to look out for when entering into a green building project, building forensics expert George DuBose warned attendees of a webinar that WPL Publishing held last week. During the 90-minute interactive event, “What Happens When Green Becomes Code: Do Buildings Get Better or Do Lawyers Get Richer?,” he advised a target audience of public and private owners, design professionals, engineers, architects, contractors, subcontractors, manufacturers, suppliers, and construction law attorneys to beware of the following four risks associated with green building projects:
- Schedule overruns resulting from delivery problems with new products or construction impacts of new green code requirements.
- Cost impacts of sole source products driven by new mega trends in green codes.
- Contractors, subcontractors, and designers who are unfamiliar with green products and innovative approaches embedded in new codes.
- Specifying green products that have minimal in-field testing and poor warranties in order to meet new code requirements.
DuBose, vice president of building consulting services for Liberty Building Forensics Group, stressed that low-risk buildings possess the following features: minimum outside air (does not exceed American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers standards); there is an emphasis on humidity control whereas higher-risk green buildings emphasize energy conservation; proven materials are stressed; the drying potential of the envelope (walls and roof) is emphasized; and air barriers are stressed.
Through their presentations during the webinar, DuBose and Richard Scott, a senior forensic architect with Liberty, sought to help attendees do the following:
- Recognize the increased risks in their green-designed and -constructed projects due to use of innovative products.
- Identify Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design credits in their projects that may add minimal value but dramatically increase risk.
- Better gauge the technical concerns of green building failures.
To inquire about accessing a recording of the webinar, please call WPL Publishing at (301) 765-9525.