Selling and Governing the Green Project: Owner Risks in Marketing, Entitlement and Project Governance

  • October 11, 2008
  • • Written by: Paul D’Arelli, Esq. 

Fall 2008 Vol 33, No 3
Abstract: While critical thinking about the legal issues spawned by utilization of third-party green building rating systems is in its infancy, many reasons for concern are already apparent. Owners and developers seeking green certification must have sound strategies for managing risk relating to emerging legal matters. This article discusses issues that the development community is facing regarding entitlement and marketing of green projects. The desire to publicize a project’s proposed green certification and performance targets can result in expectations of tenants, purchasers, government agencies and other third parties regarding a performance outcome. Where outcomes are not achieved, parties with unmet expectations may seek recourse against the owner/developer. The article also identifies challenges inherent in providing a governance structure for mixed-use and multi-building projects. Such governance is necessary to minimize the likelihood that the certification and performance objectives of the master developer could be compromised by developers of various project components or by the end users.