Posts by Builders Counsel
AIA releases new "green" agreements.
As you all could probably guess, I was unable to attend Greenbuild this year. The arrival of my son has kept me at home – and I’m not complaining. But Greenbuild appears to have stepped up to new heights and I am sorry that I missed the festivities. One intriguing new release announced at the event: AIA’s new “Sustainable Project” documents.
The American Institute of Architects publishes its standard form contracts on a ten (10) year cycle. Of course, law and policy changes much more regularly than that. So, the AIA releases “language updates” from time to time.
At Greenbuild, the AIA introduced a new set of documents intended for “Sustainable Projects” – or ...
Now that's pretty. Oregon's new online permitting interface.
Here’s some good news for Oregon contractors: Electronic Permitting is here. That’s right, no more standing in line with folders full of printed submittals and waiting all day for your permit. The click of a few buttons and you are in business. Great news, right? Unfortunately, Oregon isn’t sharing that celebration with Washington. So I say – why not?
Last week, the State of Oregon released its new ePermitting online interface. The website allows contractors, owners and even local building departments to create an account, submit building plans and procure permits. With your account, you can track the progress of submissions, print documents and get posting information.
ready to report? (Photo: Marcy Reiford on Flickr)
A few months ago, I discussed new Seattle legislation aimed at reducing energy consumption in the city. The Seattle Building Energy Benchmarking and Reporting law requires some building owners to report energy performance of their buildings. The first reporting deadline is lurking, so have your reports ready on Monday!
The new law is the product of the Green Building Task Force, who’s goal is to reduce energy consumption in Seattle’s existing building stock by 20%. The new ordinance is multi-faceted but at its simplest requires large (10,000 sq ft+) commercial and multifamily building owners to conduct annual energy performance tracking. I have previously written about how the ...
Going green? Consider these items.
Here’s an oldie, but goodie. Recently, I have had a few discussions with people interested in “green” and/or modular homes. Ever wonder what it might be like to own the greenest of homes? How about the issues you might face in building one? Here are a few things to consider.
Green building attorneys are generally removed from the day to day issues facing the owners and contractors building the project. On a commercial project, these issues are more transparent and attorneys are utilized more often. But green-built residential projects are more of a secret. Attorneys are generally disassociated until a problem arises.
Some of the more interesting (perhaps troubling) issues that arose for the owners:
B-Corps are an attractive new business model
This blog is about construction, but its mostly about the business of construction. Construction thrives on your small business’ success. But in the past few years, we have seen serious decline in the long-term success of new business launches. That is where the B-Corporation (Benefit Corporation) might help – a new business model built to sustain. Have you heard of a B-Corp?
If you haven’t yet heard about B-Corporations, don’t fret. The B-Corporation was a private endeavor, formulated by a bunch of business gurus who were fed up with the traditional business model. Their goal was to promote social and environmental sustainability and accountability of business leaders. So, a few ...
Living Future Institute brings the UnConference to Portland, Oregon in 2012
The ever-intriguing, ever-growing International Living Future Institute will put on their 6th Annual Living Future UnConference in 2012. I have talked a lot about these guys over the past year. Its been a pretty amazing journey for them, going from regional USGBC group to international building organization. The 2012 Unconference is sure to be a big draw.
For those of you who don’t know, the ILFI was spawned by northwest USGBC section, Cascadia Green Building Council. A few years ago the talk about Cascadia centered around its emergence as the largest section in the USGBC. Last year, the talk was about the creation of the Living Building Challenge. This year, the talk has been about ...
One of LEED's scarred: Courthouse Square (Photo: CubanRefugee on Flickr)
Remember Courthouse Square? I sure do. We have talked about the closed and evacuated LEED certified building a couple of times here on Builders Counsel. Well, its back in the news. This time building professionals are pointing fingers – but there is some talk about a fix. Still, its LEED certification remains.
If you read my past articles about Courthouse Square, you can get caught up on this mess. The short of it is that Salem, Oregon had the five-story government building and bus mall completed in 2000 for $34 Million. It was awarded LEED certification during the USGBC’s infancy. Last year, it became public that the building had significantly defective concrete and design. The ...
Passivehaus Institut pulls the plug on Passivehaus US (Photo: stefanx80 on Flickr)
Yesterday I blogged about a failed green building project. Today I blog about a failed green building system. A day after the USGBC got good news from a New York Federal Court, one of its biggest U.S. competitors went belly up. Passivehaus US has lost its certification status with Passivehaus Institut. Is this the end of Passivehaus in the states?
I am still trying to digest all of this information, but the circumstances seem dire. Passivehaus US has lost its ability to sell the Passivehaus “product,” meaning that there is no current U.S. provider for Passivehaus. It appears that Passivhaus Institut, is suggesting that all current users turn to another one of ...
Coming in March 2012, but already here. (Photo: Green Building Law Update)
Did you know that the International Green Construction Code (IgCC) is going places? I’m talking to your backyard. A recent count shows more jurisdictions adopting the IgCC, setting up a big push for adoption of IgCC’s March 2012 release.
We have talked about the IgCC on the blog, before. The IgCC is one of the first commercially-recognizable green construction codes. The code (1.0) provides an alternative compliance tract through ASHRAE 189.1. The original unofficial version (1.0) of the IgCC was released for public comment through 2010. A second unofficial version (2.0) was released for comment through this month. The culmination of all of this work will be ...
Solarize Seattle is making a push to improve energy production in Seattle.
Seattle is making solar power accessible. Through a number of new measures, Seattle is pulling more and more users off the grid and allowing them to be self-sustainable. One of the most impressive projects – Solarize Seattle.
Early this week, the Seattle City Council announced passage of the City’s Community Solar Program. Community Solar lets customers “buy” solar power which will offset their City Light power bills, through a credit. The program works by allowing consumers to purchase interests in a solar photovoltaic array owned and operated by City Light at a number of parks and public areas in Seattle. The first installation will be completed at Jefferson Park in ...