Going Green: Researching Green Buildings


"Green buildings" are on the rise. In 2017, Philadelphia ranked 11th in the U.S. for green buildings. The Philadelphia Office of Sustainability lists on its website the LEED scorecard and ENERGY STAR scores, as well as the sustainability measures that led to these scores, for some of the city's municipal buildings that utilize energy efficiency and environmental conservation, including One Parkway Building, the Police Department Training Center, and the Streets Department Training Center.

But what is a "green building"? According to the World Green Building Council, a "‘green’ building is a building that, in its design, construction or operation, reduces or eliminates negative impacts, and can create positive impacts, on our climate and natural environment. Green buildings preserve precious natural resources and improve our quality of life." Buildings can do this in many ways, including efficiently using resources like water and energy, using renewable energy, reducing pollution and waste through measures like recycling, using non-toxic materials, and more.

Want to find out more about green buildings, sustainability, and the laws and regulations that govern them? Check out Green Buildings: Law, Contract and Regulation, available on the Law Journal Press database (a member database available to firms with less than 50 attorneys). By Peter S. Britell and updated by Smita G. Korrapati, this treatise offers an introduction to green buildings and covers a wide range of green building topics, including green rating systems, green building codes, insurance coverage, construction contracts, and design and engineering agreements.

Other "green building" titles available at Jenkins include the 2012 & 2015 International Green Construction Code from the International Code Council, Green Building and the Construction Lawyer: A Practical Guide to Transactional and Litigation Issues from the American Bar Association, and Energy Efficiency, Green Building and Sustainability: What Real Estate Lawyers Need to Know Now from the Pennsylvania Bar Institute.

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