Insurance for Design Professionals

by Sean O'Hara on August 6, 2012

I spent the morning in an session put on by XL Insurance, the provider of our professional liability insurance. It was of course about contracts and liability so not the most exciting way to spend a morning but there were several interesting facts:

Less than 20% of firms surveyed consider themselves to be experienced with green design

86% of firms believes there is more cost in going green

78% of firms said that their clients believe there is added cost for going green

Its fascinating that less than 1/5 of firms are experienced with green design. It is a part of so many of our projects whether they are LEED or not that I believe this experience is critical. The debate about cost of “going green” is a fascinating one with no easy answer. In my experience some of the developers of LEED buildings will say it doesn’t ratchet up initial cost and some will say they’re really paying for it. I think a lot of that comes back to definitions of what constitutes green and which LEED credits you are going after. Some of the LEED points are “free” and some of them involve altering the design. You’re always stuck with additional commissioning charges but the other cost differences come down to cost.

On a related note they mentioned that several groups including restaurants and universities are conflicted over LEED not always addressing their specific uses. This was/is an issue with some housing building types and the USGBC invented the LEED Homes to address that. He also mentioned that the USGBC bills over $400K per employee. Wow.

The point of all of this was that firms need to be careful about what they promise and how they define green. It can be a moving target and there is some reliance on the USGBC for interpretation.

In the end EVstudio is committed to picking strategies that are practical and if a certification is desired, we’ll work with our clients to pick the most appropriate path to get there.

Originally posted 2008-06-04 17:29:58. Republished by Blog Post Promoter


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