Buildings are defined as “green” when specific measures are incorporated to provide healthier environments for their users and mitigate their negative impact on the environment. The practice of green building has caused significant changes in the construction industry, exposing architects to new legal liabilities. The objective of this paper is to investigate, identify and clarify the understanding of architects’ professional liability risks associated with the design and construction of green buildings and how to manage those risks. By discussing information and resources gathered from journal articles, books, standard contracts documents, and white papers, this paper analyzes how architects’ duties are effected by green building and certification standards, the new considerations to the Standard of Care, issues and potential liability risks, and new contract language. After discussing each potential risk, this paper provides ideas on what architects should do to mitigate these possible risks. This paper’s conclusions indicate that architects must understand their roles, responsibilities, and potential liability when participating in the design and construction of green buildings to protect themselves against potential losses while practicing innovation.
This article originally appeared in Vol 04.02 of the Perkins+Will Research Journal. CLICK HERE to see the whole article.