By Steve Rizer
Among the many steps that should be taken to minimize or eliminate the risks of green building is to ensure that green-scheduling issues are considered for all green projects, Eugene Heady, a partner in Smith, Currie & Hancock’s Atlanta office, told a group of professionals attending a webinar that WPL Publishing hosted Sept. 13. During the event, entitled “The Hidden Risks of Green Buildings,” he and George DuBose, vice president of building consulting services for Liberty Building Forensics Group in Orlando, Fla., addressed a target audience of engineers, architects, owners, contractors, subcontractors, design professionals, and construction law attorneys.
Heady advised webinar attendees to show milestones on their schedules for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and other green-certification requirements. “The project has to apply for LEED pre-certification during the design process. That’s an important milestone. Final LEED certification can lag completion of construction by 6-12 months or longer if using enhanced commissioning. And it would be at least 12 months if you’re looking for Energy Star certification, which is not issued until a full year of energy-use data has been compiled per building. So, think about these milestones when you’re putting together your project schedules. Also, onsite inspection of completed construction is required if you’re registered for a Green Globes rating, so you want to get that on the schedule.”
It also is important to consider all milestone dates by which anticipated or final LEED credits must be obtained under any other documents, Heady said. “For example, what do the mortgage loan covenants say? Building codes? Zoning ordinances? Property tax abatements? Income-tax-credit programs? Are there critical dates key to these items? Are there specific dates required for any particular filing that you have to do? Are these dates absolute? Can you get a time extension, if necessary? You’ve got to consider these when you’re putting together the project schedule.”
Heady additionally urged attendees to include a margin of error when designing a green project. “Anticipate that you’re going to lose some LEED credits during construction, so plan to achieve more than the minimum number of credits for the desired certification so that you can afford to lose some credits and then still reach the desired level.”
To inquire about obtaining a recording of the webinar, call WPL Publishing at (301) 765-9525.