Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design or “LEED” is a voluntary program started eight years ago by the U.S. Green Building Council. Project owners and builders can achieve silver, gold or platinum LEED certification by meeting requirements in different “green” building categories.
LEED certification issues may soon lead to significant litigation, however, according to lawyers quoted in an article by Long Island Business News. “Green-related” claims are already increasing against architects and engineers — “When a developer has a problem with a project, he’s going to claim a number of things,” one lawyer said, “including, ‘You told me I’d get a certification, and I’m not getting it.'”
Another area for potential litigation, however, may be shareholder actions. Attorney Brian D. Anderson states in the article that LEED has a pilot program in which large companies can “bulk certify” many buildings on the basis they share the same design, and that broad-scale investment to achieve LEED certification will require public companies to disclose these investments in their filings with the SEC. “Anything that it submitted to the shareholder and to the SEC can enter the very fertile grounds of securities litigation,” he said.