Construction Today - January/February 2013 - (Page 134)
By Chad Michaelson
THE BLACK INK OF
n the past decade, the popularity of
“green” building has grown exponentially.
But while sustainable building methods
and materials continue to develop rapidly, many of the design and construction contracts surrounding green projects have not
kept pace. Many contracts fail to address the
unique and complex legal risks that accompany green building projects, especially those
that aim to achieve third-party certification
through LEED or a similar program.
The American Institute of Architects (AIA)
has recognized the legal challenges and
released modified templates of its most popular form agreements to address specific issues
CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2013
of sustainable projects. The modified agreements bear the suffix “SP,” for
“Sustainable Project,” and contain provisions that can easily be incorporated into other agreements.
One of the most important new provisions is in the agreement between
the owner and the architect. The modified agreement now includes a section called “Scope of Architect’s Sustainability Services,” which makes the
architect primarily responsible for the development and implementation
of the project’s sustainability plan.
To create the sustainability plan, the architect must consult the owner
about the chosen certification program’s requirements, and then host a
sustainability workshop with the entire project team to establish the sustainability goals for the project. This is not a novel concept, as project
teams have been using design charettes to plan sustainable projects for
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Construction Today - January/February 2013