“Building green” comes in many forms and is motivated by various purposes. Whether you are retrofitting an existing hotel to meet newly-imposed legal requirements, constructing a new hotel with green marketing in mind, renovating a building to receive tax incentives, or combining these and other goals, green design and construction should not be treated like a normal construction project. Green construction projects are highly specialized and require a higher level of team expertise and documentary detail than do conventional projects.
The first step in the green building process is to engage a professional, usually an architect, to design and run the project. In this respect, the owner-architect agreement is the key document in the green building process, and offers owners an opportunity to set the tone for the project at its onset. While no short list of prudent practices can be exhaustive, owners should address the following five considerations when entering into contracts for green design.