Sustainable Buildings and the Surety

  • October 17, 2008
  • • Written by: Bryan M. Seifert, Esq.

Fall 2008 Vol 33, No 3

Abstract: Sureties play an important role in guaranteeing building performance. Almost all governmental projects on the federal, state and municipal level statutorily require the use of surety bonds as a result of the passage of the Federal Miller Act and the Little Miller Acts adopted by the states. Sustainable building rating systems and benchmarks have been legislated in several states, towns and counties throughout the U.S. Several federal agencies also require the use of sustainable building rating systems. As sustainable building becomes fixed into the statutory and regulatory framework, the surety’s role is increasingly implicated. These implications will require thoughtful and creative risk management tools for owners, project stakeholders, public works contractors and their insurers and sureties that view sustainable buildings as high-performance building assets with objective and quantifiable performance criteria.