Upcoming Webinar Aims to Help Attendees Identify Green Building Risks in an Era of New Construction Standards

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The WPL Publishing webinar is tailored for a wide variety of professionals in the construction community, including public and private owners, engineers, architects, contractors, subcontractors, manufacturers, suppliers, attorneys, and design professionals.

Standard for Design of High Performance Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings.

Later this month, WPL Publishing will sponsor a webinar to help professionals in the construction industry understand the risks that new green building codes and standards present.

Green buildings are going to become, by codification, the law of the land. For some organizations, this will just mean business as usual. For other firms, this change will be cataclysmic. The 90-minute webinar, scheduled for 1:00 p.m. (EDT), Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2010, is designed to help ease this transition for attendees. To register for the interactive event, entitled “What Happens When Green Becomes Code: Do Buildings Get Better or Do Lawyers Get Richer?”, visit http://tinyurl.com/2utfbhe.

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) produces standards that are adopted by most model building codes, and the ASHRAE Draft Standard 189.1P is the new “Standard for Design of High Performance Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings.”

This new ASHRAE standard is written in code language and will have the impact of mandating that all new buildings will be green buildings, thus eliminating the option of constructing anything less robust. Even if this standard is not adopted by all model codes, it will become the de facto standard of care.

On the surface, this sounds like a very good thing – mandating better performing, more energy-efficient buildings – and it certainly has many redeeming aspects. However, there are many challenges that will come with the new building codes: lack of experience will increase design and construction deficiencies, standard of care will be elevated, and because regional issues are not addressed, this could create problems with climate-unique requirements.

The webinar will prepare attendees for the following necessary steps:

  • Understanding that designers and contractors soon will be forced to implement building features that many experts do not fully understand, leading to more frequent building failures as firms design and construct buildings with complex components in an effort to keep work coming in.
  • Realizing that current “best practices” soon will be considered the minimum standard of care, increasing the risk profile of many projects and potentially triggering some exclusion clauses in insurance policies.
  • Learning that national mandates rarely take into consideration the unique requirements of differing regions around the country (e.g., hot and humid, very cold, or very rainy climates).
  • Acknowledging that seemingly everyone will quickly morph into a green practitioner so that the true marketplace differentiators (those with experience and unique technical expertise) will become difficult to discern, and design and construction deficiencies and lawsuits will increase.

Webinar attendees also will learn how to do the following:

  • Recognize the increased risks in their green-designed and -constructed projects due to use of innovative products.
  • Identify LEED credits in their projects that may add minimal value but dramatically increase risk.
  • Better gauge the technical concerns of green building failures.

Providing advice to attendees will be George DuBose, a general contractor and building forensics expert with Liberty Building Forensics Group (LBFG), and Richard Scott, a senior forensic architect who specializes in moisture and mold problems with LBFG.

After their presentations, there will be an interactive 10-to-15 minute question-and-answer session addressing relevant topics.

Webinar tuition is based on location, not number of participants, so each registration site can have multiple participants for one low price. To register, visit http://tinyurl.com/2utfbhe.

WPL Publishing Co., Inc. produces four construction newsletters: Construction Project Controls & BIM Report (http://www.projectcontrols.com), Construction Claims Advisor (http://www.constructionclaims.com), Green Building Insider (http://www.greenbuildinginsider.com), and Construction Advisor Today (http://www.constructionadvisortoday.com). The company also hosts webinar series on topics relevant to the construction industry. WPL is on Twitter at CAT_Online.

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Barbara J. Bauer
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