Womble Carlyle Construction Industry Blog

Following the construction industry and related legal topics in the United States.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

National Green Building Standard Almost Ready

In a previous posting we discussed the new green building standard being developed jointly by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the International Code Council (ICC) and the NAHB Research Center. The new standard is intended to be seamlessly incorporated into existing building codes, thereby providing a code-based standard for jurisdictions considering mandatory green building requirements. In contrast to currently existing green building rating systems (e.g., LEED), the proposed standard specifically addresses multi-family development and construction.

The NAHB, ICC and NAHB Research Center have developed the National Green Building Standard with the goal of obtaining ANSI approval, so that the standard would be available for adoption by local building departments. The ANSI public comment period on the proposed draft closed on February 8, 2008, and the standard is currently anticipated to be released later this spring.

For more information on the National Green Building Standard, and a copy of the current draft, go to http://www.nahbrc.org/technical/standards/greenbuilding.aspx. (This entry published by Karen Carey, a member of Womble Carlyle's real estate development and construction law practice group.)

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

"Free lancing" procurement for campus construction projects may lead to criminal investigation in Maryland

State legislators in Maryland have been grilling Morgan State University officials after an audit brought the university's method of construction spending into question. As reported in the Baltimore Sun and in The Chronicle of Higher Education, the legislative audit revealed that Morgan State, which is not part of the University of Maryland system but receives state funding, "had padded a $4.3-million contract with the Whiting Turner Construction Company with a $3.1-million cushion and now cannot account for part of that money. The audit also found that Whiting Turner had been overpaid $825,250 in duplicate billings, and that two university employees had been simultaneously paid as both regular and contractual workers, resulting in overpayments of $121,400 that were not discovered for months." The university’s director of design and construction management resigned last month after auditors uncovered questionable deals made with contractors on behalf of the university. (This entry published by Liz Riley, a member of Womble Carlyle's real estate development and construction law practice groups.)