Green construction is growing. Green construction firms should take steps to capitalize on Earth Day all year long. Earth Day was first introduced in 1970 as a global method for honoring the planet and protecting the environment. More than three decades later it is celebrated in nearly 200 countries worldwide and continues to grow with new initiatives such as the Green Cities Campaign and the green construction movement, which was launched in 2013 to mitigate the effects of global climate change, reduce carbon footprints and create sustainable cities operating with heightened energy efficiencies. Buyers are starting to recognize the benefits and demand green construction.
Capitalizing on Earth Day
“The green movement is no longer a trend that we observe as an occasional afterthought,” says says Jefferey S. Lejfer, President and CEO at New Day Underwriting Managers. “It is a deeply embedded part of our professional and personal lives. Many of us are now not only focused on making wiser choices around the home or office, but also re-organizing our businesses to accommodate the environmentally-conscious efforts of clients.”
The Green Construction Movement
“This is especially true in the construction industry, where contractors, designers and architects are all being increasingly pressured to complete projects with sustainable and eco-friendly products in addition to achieving certification under programs such as the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). Unfortunately, this new emphasis has opened the door for a whole new layer of risk that would not have been considered just a few years ago.” Green construction is taking a stand.
According to Lejfer, numerous challenges exist in today’s marketplace for professionals, who do not thoroughly investigate the possible negative side effects associated with contractually agreeing to meet green construction outcomes; using innovative, but yet relatively new or untested products; and/or even utilizing existing materials in unproven ways that require green results. For instance, one common example includes the use of a new adhesive containing very low volatile organic compound solvent with a floor composed of wood (bamboo). While the adhesive was environmentally-friendly, it was designed to adhere to the bamboo causing the floor to separate, buckle and ultimately be replaced.
As an expert in environmental risk management practices Lejfer strongly believes that due diligence has never been more important for fulfilling green construction demands within today’s “green movement.” This includes:
Green Construction Demands
· Thoroughly understanding the continually-evolving local, state and federal guidelines for green building that can impact contractor risk exposures. Laws can vary greatly across state lines or even among adjacent municipalities. Make friends with local inspectors. They are potentially your most astute business partners.
· Validating the efficacy and environmental claims of products before their use in new projects. Do your research. Never accept “greenwashing” claims at face value.
· Never sacrificing common sense and sound reasoning for good intentions or the need to land new business. Environmental risks can be catastrophic when properties are not investigated or properly characterized.
· Carefully investigating the insurance marketplace for the appropriate risk management coverage. The marketplace has greatly expanded in recent years and now consists of numerous options for protecting professionals from the growing liability associated with the latest green building practices.
· Reaching out to certified and qualified professionals for the proper guidance.
While the insurance landscape has expanded with new forms of environmental and construction liability coverage, so have the terms, conditions, language intent, risk appetites and underwriting requirements, which can vary greatly among the different carriers. Don’t try to navigate this territory alone. The wrong choices could very well jeopardize bottom lines as well as long-term prospects.
For more information on the latest options in environmental risk management and construction related professional liability, please contact Jeff Lejfer at 609 298-3516 or Jeff.Lejfer@NewDayUnderwriting.com or visit the New Day Underwriting Managers website at www.newdayunderwriting.com.
You can learn more about green constuction at www.earthday.org.
About New Day Underwriting Managers LLC
New Day Underwriting Managers LLC is a specialty resource for agents and brokers, assisting them and their clients find appropriate, high-quality environmental and construction-related professional liability insurance coverages. The company offers agents and brokers single-point access to an ample portfolio of products and services provided by the nation’s largest environmental and professional liability insurance providers.