When Green Building Turns Brown: News Brief

When Green Building Turns Brown:  News Brief


News Brief:

According to the Kaplow Green Building Law Update:   In August of 2014, “… a federal appeals court brought back from the dead, a more than $6 Million lawsuit filed over materials supplied in 2000 for the first ever LEED certified Platinum building. Despite that the unpublished opinion is not binding precedent, it will have a chilling effect on green building and in particular on the selection of new or untried materials and products that are the keystone of many sustainable projects.”

The Green Building Law Update went on to say:  The Chesapeake Bay Foundation v. Weyerhaeuser Company arose from the construction in 1999 of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s headquarters in Annapolis, Maryland. SmithGroup designed the building and Clark Construction oversaw its construction. SmithGroup’s “green” design called for exposed structural wood members outside the building envelope, including some that penetrated the facade. Under a March 3, 2000 purchase order that it entered into with Clark, Weyerhaeuser agreed to provide Parallam PSL columns and beams for use as the exposed wood members.

Parallams, which have a rough-hewn appearance, are manufactured by bonding together strips of wood. Its contract with Clark required Weyerhaeuser to treat the Parallams with the preservative PolyClear 2000, something then new and untried.

Water damage to the Parallams was observed during construction. Following final completion of construction in late December 2000, water began leaking through the Parallams into the building. In 2001 and 2002, the leakage was investigated by two outside consultants hired by Clark. A 2001 report by one of those consultants addressed to the Bay Foundation described that such water could cause deterioration or rot in the Parallams themselves if they were not properly treated with a wood preservative.

In July of 2015, the parties in the lawsuit The Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Inc., et al v. Weyerhaeuser Company, et al,  agreed to a confidential settlement.  Read the full articles here:   Kaplow Green Building Law Update:











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