LEED Gold Rating Not Enough to Save Building’s Zoning Variance

A New Jersey court recently reversed a variance issued by a zoning board to a building designed to achieve LEED Gold certification.  The owner of the planned office building sought and obtained site plan approval and a height variance from the zoning board.  Among other things, the zoning board found that the landscaping plan “conserves natural resources and prevents degradation of the environment,” that the site plan fulfilled planning goals of reducing impervious coverage, and that achieving the LEED Gold standard for energy use, recycling and waste disposal “promotes the [land use law’s] purpose of promoting utilization of renewable energy resources.” (more…)

Service Contractor’s Bid Protest Blocked by Lack of LEED Experience

The lack of LEED experience cost an incumbent service contractor the ability to protest the award of a federal contract to its rival, according to an opinion released on April 22, 2014 by the United States Court of Federal Claims.  In Hughes Group, LLC v. United States, 2014 WL 1604330 (Fed. Cl. 2014), the incumbent contractor for janitorial and landscape services filed a bid protest over the government’s award of a contract to another service contractor.  Id.  The basis of the protest was the allegation that the government impermissibly engaged in discussions with the successful bidder that allowed it to make beneficial changes to its proposal.  Id. (more…)

LEED Rating Pops Up In Construction Dispute

The LEED rating system for green buildings made a brief cameo in a recent reported opinion arising out of a construction dispute in North Carolina. The recently decided case John Wm. Brown Co. v. State Employees’ Credit Union, 752 S.E.2d 185 (N.C. Ct. App. 2013) only indirectly involved LEED, it does illustrate one of the ways in which LEED disputes may arise in a construction project. (more…)