The Challenges of Keeping Buildings Green and Legal

Keeping It Green and Legal


Public Affairs, 212-854-2650
New York, Sept. 29, 2010—It’s expected that within 25 years, three-quarters of all buildings in the U.S. will be new or renovated, providing both an opportunity and an urgency to ensure they are environmentally friendly. But to get to that point a myriad of legal issues must first be considered.

That is the impetus behind The Law of Green Buildings, co-edited by Michael Gerrard, Director of the Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School.

The book provides an overview of sustainable development and green buildings, including a look at significant laws and regulations that lawyers and clients need to be aware of when seeking to build or lease a so-called green building, Gerrard said.
“Building green is no longer just a good idea, it’s something that potential owners and tenants of certain kinds of buildings expect, and an increasing number of municipalities require,” said Gerrard, who is also the Andrew Sabin Professor of Professional Practice and was named 2010 New York Environmental Lawyer of the Year by the legal publication Best Lawyers.
“However, developers and builders can be confronted with a complex set of rules that may vary widely across jurisdictions. Hopefully, the book can provide a blueprint to help ensure new construction projects don’t encounter unexpected roadblocks when going green.”
Gerrard co-edited the book with J. Cullen Howe, an environmental law writer at Arnold & Porter, where Gerrard is senior counsel and the former managing partner of the firm’s New York office.
The book, published by the American Bar Association, tackles such topics as green building initiatives at the federal, state, and local level; financing and alternative energy options; practical issues, such as water use and retrofitting; legal issues in marketing green buildings; and best practices for green buildings to pass environmental reviews that account for the impact of climate change.
“Last year, residential and commercial buildings were responsible for 39 percent of U.S. greenhouse gases,” Gerrard said. “Buildings are a logical place to address many environmental issues.”
To learn more about the book, click here.
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