Are “Green” Building Designations and Certifications Truly Necessary?

Green house illustration

Certification is not a necessary carrot to bring builders around to best practices and more sustainable building stock.

January 28, 2019
Christopher G. Hill - Construction Law Musings

As anyone who reads this construction blog on a regular basis knows, I believe that the move to newer sustainable building practices (while bringing about a new or different set of potential risks) is both necessary and laudable. Because of this fact, you may be asking why the headline for today’s post. After all, I am a LEED AP and assisted in the drafting of the LEED/Green Building addendum to the ConsensusDOCS so I must be pro LEED (or any other) certification of buildings. To the extent that such certification encourages best practices and more sustainable building stock, I am pro certification.

However, certification is not a necessary carrot to bring builders around to such practices. As a recent article in EcoHome Magazine (thanks to Todd Hawkins at BuilderFish for alerting me to the article) points out, companies are already moving toward these practices with or without certification and it’s added layer of expense. Economic, air quality, and moral (“its the right thing to do”) factors are pushing executives to such practices. According to EcoHome Magazine, while LEED retains the lions share of green certifications, more and more companies are either using internal standards or trying out other certification programs, including Energy Star.

Mr. Hill may be contacted at


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