Q&A WITH ARENT FOX'S STEPHEN DEL PERCIO
|Arent Fox’s Stephen Del Percio (who’s in the firm’s construction and real estate groups) knows his green—he was one of the first 10 attorneys in the country to earn the LEED AP designation from the US Green Building Council and is a frequent lecturer and author on the legal issues associated with green buildings, leasing, and policy. In 2008, he launched The Green Real Estate Law Journal blog, which LexisNexis recently named one of the top 50 environmental law blogs for 2011.|
Bisnow: What online resources are available for owners, tenants, and clients looking to go green? Stephen: The USGBC’s website has a large section devoted to online resources making the business case for building and developing green and a database of government programs (both incentives and mandates) that incorporate the LEED rating system. The Urban Green Council (USGBC's NY chapter) also offers some great resources on its website for local green building issues, including links to the text of the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan and the 111 recommendations provided by the Green Codes Task Force to green NYC’s building codes. Another terrific resource isDSIREUSA.org, which provides information on federal, state, local, and utility energy efficiency and alternative energy incentives and policies. EPA also maintains a database of federal funding opportunities for green building and alternative energy technologies for private sector projects.Bisnow: What encouraged you to launch your blog?
Stephen: At the time, there had been very little written about how the law intersects green building and real estate. I saw creating the site as an opportunity to create a central location for lawyers and industry professionals to discuss those issues and, hopefully, begin addressing green building risks in a more meaningful way. Three years later, we've covered the green leasing movement, the first green building-related lawsuits to emerge between and against various industry stakeholders, and the release of numerous green design, development, and construction agreements by industry organizations such as AIA and DBIA.
Stephen: Most of the law blogs out there—in any practice area—are published by attorneys at major law firms with significant, substantive expertise in the topics that they write about. I also think that the best way to vet what is presented on a law blog is to review the comments to each article. In this way, most law blogs are peer-reviewed, in a sense. If the information that has been presented is inaccurate, or should be distinguished in some fashion, readers are likely to point it out.