Rebuilding can be more important than building.

Does the Responsible Developer volunteer to help rebuild communities? 

Absolutely, and you can get involved too.  It really makes a huge positive impact on the homeowners that get this kind of help.  RTS (Rebuilding Together Seattle) has now made it easy to get involved with one of these amazing feel good volunteer projects.

Recently, well known South Lake Union Developer Vulcan Real Estate, teamed up with Foster Pepper and RTS, to spend some quality time making a difference in someone's life.  The homeowners, Buford and Evelyn Neal, were a gracious older couple and Buford is a veteran of both WWII and the Korean War (where he lost his legs to frostbite while serving his country).  Why not work hard for people like that!

So RTS set us up and gave us the ground rules.  We had numerous precon meetings to define the scope of work, the materials and tools needed, what actual "contractor volunteers" would be involved and how many laborer volunteers would be needed.  The hard working foursome of Margie Thirlby and Sarah Ihrie of RTS, Vulcan Project Manager extraordinaire Kyle Weeks, and Foster's own angel of organization, Joanna Plichta-Boisen, kept us all together and well prepared.   

Prior to full mobilization, some of the actual contractors started on tasks like interior demo of walls and floors.  Then on the day of, 30-40 Vulcan and Foster volunteers descended on the site.  The weather gods were smiling as the volunteers were treated to the then warmest, sunniest day of year.

At end of long day the volunteers has transformed the home inside and out, new floors and coverings, appliances, enlarged door ways to better accommodate wheelchairs, and repairs to outbuildings, gutters, patios, walkways, landscaping and removal of lots of accumulated "stuff."

This RTS event transcended rank and title, where Vulcan Senior Directors were working side by side with Foster lawyers, staff, and their family and friends.  It was a wonderful day for a wonderful cause.  During the day several times curious passersby stopped wanted to know what was going on and when they found out, wanted to know how to get involved.

To cap a truly meaningful event, KOMO news reporter Theron Zahn appeared with a camera crew to interview the Neals (watch the interview) and capture the images of the many people who took time from their lives to be part of Rebuilding Together Seattle.

Get involved with RTS, you'll be glad you did.  It is the responsible thing to do.  See you next year.

2012 Continuing Construction Education

Does The Responsible Developer take advantage of construction industry opportunities for continuing education?  Absolutely!

Here are some great local and national seminars to attend that provide the most current news and information on public and private development and construction:

1.   For the developer or contractor interested in public schools, here is a great opportunity, on two dates in two cities:

The Washington Association of School Business Officials
Capital Project & Facilities Workshop
March 14, 2012 in Yakima and March 20, 2012 in Renton:

  • Bidder Responsibility Criteria and GC/CM & Design Bid Build
  • Legal Tools for Effective School Construction Contracting
  • Construction Budgeting & Accounting and State Match 

Foster Pepper's own Greg Guedel will be speaking on the first topic. 

2.   For the developer or contractor involved in bidding government projects, there is the Seminar Group's Construction Bidding on March 15, 2012 in Seattle: 

  • The Bidding Process
  • Alternative Public Project Procurement Process
  • Insurance Considerations in the Bidding Process
  • Contractor and Municipality Perspectives on Bidding Construction Projects
  • Strategies for Bidding Claims

 Foster Pepper's own Tom Ahearne will be speaking on the third topic. 

3.   For the developer or contractor looking for a comprehensive national construction seminar on both public and private projects, this annual event is not to be missed:

The ABA Forum on the Construction Industry Midwinter Meeting on February 2-3, 2012 in Houston:

  • Design Control and Delegation
  • Current Issues Facing Complex Project Funding
  • Open Book Accounting in Cost Reimbursable Contracts
  • A Study of Issues Posed by Schedules on Complex Cases
  • A Review of Good and Bad Assurance/Quality Contract Case Studies
  • Practical Tips in Navigating Project Labor Disputes
  • Others 

This Editor looks forward to seeing you there. 

 

Public Works Seminar / Webinar - November 2, 2011

Join Foster Pepper attorneys and special guest speakers for this informative discussion on how municipal agencies can make the most of their public works project dollars.

Public Works Contracting: How to Get the Best Value from a Weak Economy

Wednesday, November 2, 2011 | 10:30 am – 2:30 pm
Foster Pepper PLLC | 30th Floor Conference Center
1111 Third Avenue | Seattle, Washington

Please respond by: Friday, October 28, 2011

REGISTER HERE

Questions?
Registration and other questions (ADA Accommodations, special meal requests, etc.) should be directed to events@foster.com.

More information can be found HERE.


TOPICS

CLE (Attorney) credits pending | Certificates of Completion available for other organizations

Schedule:
10:15 am                          Registration
10:30 am - 2:30 pm        Program/Q&A (Lunch provided)

For more information, visit Foster Pepper's EVENTS page or REGISTER.

Upcoming Better Building Events

If you’re interested in learning more about sustainable development, networking with other responsible developers or sponsorship opportunities, here is a sampling of the many upcoming events and programs in the Puget Sound region this spring:

Leaders in Livability: AIA Seattle Welcomes Dow Constantine:  April 7, 5:30pm - 7pm
Join AIA Seattle and Cascade Land Conservancy to get beyond the talk and the PowerPoint and hear from successful leaders who have used creativity to shape real change in our communities. King County Executive Dow Constantine will give his county-wide perspective on the challenges and opportunities of promoting livability on a region-wide basis. This is the second of a three-part series that provides unique and dynamic perspectives on building more livable, walkable and healthier cities. This program features a 45-minute interview with an opportunity for audience Q&A.

Introduction to Built Green®:  April 12, 2:30pm – 4:30pm
Thinking about joining Built Green®? Attend this two-hour introduction to the program to answer questions such as: How do I certify a project? How does the program work? Why should I become a member?

CREW Seattle & Sound:  April 14, 11:30am – 1:00pm
What if every act of design and construction made the world a better place? Come hear how the first project in Washington State built to the Living Building Challenge standard achieved the highest levels of sustainability. Buildings designed to Living Building Challenge standards are net zero energy and water, and all materials used in construction are scrupulously screened to avoid toxic ‘red list’ materials. Join Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Seattle & Sound for lunch to learn more about the Challenge and the construction of the Bertschi School Living Science Building on Seattle’s Capitol Hill.

SOUTHSound Green Tour and Seattle Green TourApril 16-17, 10:00am - 4:00pm, various locations
Hosted by the Northwest EcoBuilding Guild, both the South Sound Green Tour and the Seattle Green Home Tour are free and open to the general public. The tours will highlight a variety of green building, remodeling and retrofitting techniques. Learn more about how homes can approach net zero energy use, Built Green®, NW Energy Star for Homes, and LEED for Homes.

Pacific Northwest Regional Conference on Sustainability:  April 29 – May 1
This conference provides a unique opportunity for engineers and scientists in the Pacific Northwest to exchange ideas and learn about the sustainability of energy, water, and environmental systems. The conference will cover a wide range of topics including sustainable infrastructure development, industrial ecology, sustainability in process design, renewable energy, water conservation and waste minimization.

Green Festival:  May 21 – 22, Qwest Event Center
Green Festival inspires and promotes the connection between people, communities and businesses. Festivities include presentations by more than 125 authors, leaders and visionaries, informative workshops, films, activities for kids, organic beer and wine, food, live music, and a marketplace of more than 350 green local and national businesses and organizations. Keynote speakers include Amy Goodman, John Perkins, Jeffrey Smith, David Korten, Zoe Weil, and Edward Humes. Get a one-day pass for $10 or weekend pass for $15 when you purchase online.

Low Impact Development – Stormwater Management for Sustainable Design and Water Efficiency:  June 16, 9:00am – 5:00pm
This course provides an overview of low-impact development (“LID”) approaches and resources for building industry professionals. Critical for the Pacific Northwest where water quality and salmon habitat protection are key issues, LID offers opportunities for sustainable site design and water efficiency. Intended for environmental professionals, landscape architects, architects, facility managers, and those who are interested in incorporating LID into existing sites.
 

Register Now for Foster Pepper's Annual Land Use & Environmental Seminar

Join Foster Pepper attorneys on May 19, 2011 for a look at new regulatory developments and positioning for the future in the areas of land use and environmental law. This complimentary seminar for industry professionals will cover topics including:

  • Financing New Projects in 2011
  • New and Upcoming City of Seattle Regulations
  • New Legislation and Case Law Update
  • How Greenhouse Gases and Climate Change are Impacting Entitlements
  • Water Supply: Impact of WA Supreme Court Municipal Water Law Ruling

DETAILS:

  • Thursday, May 19, 2011  |  8:30 am - 1:00 pm
  • Foster Pepper PLLC | 30th Floor Conference Center
    Seattle, Washington

REGISTER by May 13, 2011.

For more information, visit the EVENT page.

Registration and other questions (ADA Accommodations, special meal requests, etc.) should be directed to events@foster.com or 206.447.2694.

A Big Conference... and a Big Lawsuit

USGBC's annual Greenbuild International Conference and Expo attracted more than 28,000 attendees at its show in November in Chicago.  Meanwhile, an outspoken building energy consultant in New York filed a class action lawsuit against USGBC and its founders, claiming USGBC is misleading builders and consumers about the energy performance of LEED certified buildings.

Retired General Colin Powell was the keynote speaker for Greenbuild, speaking on the necessity for passion and optimism in effective leadership.  Other speakers included USGBC President, CEO, and founding chair Rick Federizzi, Chicago's mayor, Richard M. Daley, and other government and industry speakers.  The conference showcased hundreds of new eco-friendly products and options, from a "smog eating" roofing tile manufactured by MonierLifetile LLC to a Caroma dual flush toilet that includes a hand basin on its top, allowing users to wash their hands in clean water that is immediately recycled to the toilet tank below for the next flush.

USGBC also announced two new green building rating systems, LEED for Healthcare and LEED for retail, along with the LEED Volume Program, designed to meet the certification needs of high-volume property developers, in anticipation of more robust building times ahead.  For more information, visit www.usgbc.org/leed.

Meanwhile, on October 8, 2010, Henry Gifford of Gifford Fuel Saving, Inc., filed a class action lawsuit against USGBC in federal court in New York City.  The lawsuit alleges that USGBC committed fraud and false advertising when it claimed LEED certified buildings save more energy than non-certified buildings.  The suit relies heavily on a study commissioned by USBGC and performed by the New Buildings Institute in March, 2008.  Based on this study, USGBC announced in April, 2008, that LEED certifed buildings were 25-30% more energy efficient than non-LEED buildings.  The suit claims the study and press release are misleading and points to Gifford's critique of the study, published in 2008, that concludes LEED buildings are, on average, 29 % less efficient.   USGBC's answer is due to be filed by December 28.  Commentators have questioned the validity of the lawsuit, although, as previously pointed out in this blog, USGBC has been responding to criticisms that its rating system does not measure actual energy performance of a particular building.

More to come on both fronts, stay tuned!

Free Public Works Podcasts - How to Get Best Value from the Bad Economy

Video and audio podcasts from Foster Pepper's July 26th Public Works seminar are now available.

The program provides guidance to municipal agencies on how to maximize the success of public works projects through effective contracting and project management. 

The podcast segments include:

Low Price = Good Value?  Establishing Bidder Responsibility and Performance Capacity
  Steve DiJulio, Foster Pepper PLLC
 
Ted Coulson, Foster Pepper PLLC

When Low Price is Not Enough – Green Building and Alternative Procurement Methods
  Kelly Angell, Foster Pepper PLLC
 
Greg Guedel, Foster Pepper PLLC

Discussion on New Housing Authority Procurement Laws
  Greg Guedel, Foster Pepper PLLC
  Michael Mirra, Tacoma Housing Authority

Project Management: Turning a Good Contract Into a Good Project
  Brad Tong, Shiels Obletz Johnsen, Inc.

The View from the Other Side: Contractor Perspectives on Facilitating Project Success
  Tom Peterson, Hoffman Construction Company

No Surprises: Contracting for End-Of-Project Closeout Certainty
  Greg Clark, Foster Pepper PLLC

The speakers' slideshow presentations and written materials are also available at no charge, please contact Greg Guedel (206.447.8931 or guedw@foster.com) for copies.

(Audio files are in .mp3 format and require an audio player or you can listen via iTunes. Video files are in .m4v format and require QuickTime.)

Upcoming Better Building Events

Interested in networking with other responsible developers, educational programs, or sponsorship opportunities?  

Here are a few upcoming events:

Selling NW Energy Star for New Homes: July 14, 10:00am – 1:00pm (online)
Are you prepared to explain the differences between energy efficient homes and standard code built homes to potential homebuyers? Attend this free webinar to learn how to leverage green built homes and answer customer questions about comfort, savings, energy efficiency, and more. Approved for 3 CEUs for Washington Realtors.

The Carbon Series: July 14-16, 9:00am – 4:00pm (Seattle, WA)
A series of workshops on climate policy and carbon footprints intended for public- and private-sector staff who must conduct a GHG inventory, prepare their organizations for mandatory state-level reporting, or work to develop strategies to respond to climate change legislation and energy policies. Register for one, two or all three days. Reduced rates are available to employees of Native American tribes; government agencies and nonprofits; students; and NAEP, NEBC, and NWAEP members.

7th Annual Solar Fest: July 16-17 (Shoreline Community College, WA)
The Fair began in 2004 to celebrate the first solar installation on a public school in Shoreline and to help people make informed decisions regarding their use of resources including energy, transportation, and food. Showcased are organizations and businesses that apply concepts of conservation and sustainability in their business models and practices. This is the longest running event of its kind in the Puget Sound region. Opening night Friday July 16 with keynote speaker, auction benefit and reception. Fair Saturday July 17, 10:00am – 8:00pm.

July Eco-Hour hosted by EcoFab: July 22, 5:00pm – 7:30pm (Seattle, WA)
Enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at Eco-Fab’s new home in the McKinstry Innovation Center. Located near McKinstry’s Georgetown campus, the Center is where new and emerging companies come together under one roof to foster the advancement of clean, green energy technologies. Learn more about our host company, EcoFab, a social enterprise  providing development and energy conservation services for sustainable homes and neighborhoods.

Introduction to Built Green®: August 10, 8:00am – 10:00am (Bellevue, WA)
Thinking about joining Built Green®? Attend this two-hour introduction to the program to answer questions such as: How do I certify a project? How does the program work? Why should I become a member?

Greenbuild 2010: November 17-19 (Chicago, IL)
Greenbuild attracts professionals from all aspects of the building industry. Architects, building owners, code officials, contractors, developers, educators, engineers, facility managers, financial service providers, government agencies, green power providers, home builders, interior designers, landscape architects, nonprofit organizations, product manufacturers, schools, universities, students, and urban planners will all be at the conference to share ideas and promote greener building. Greenbuild includes over 100 educational sessions featuring world renown speakers, LEED workshops, off-site educational sessions, and Green Building tours of local sites. Past speakers include Archbishop Desmond Tutu, President Bill Clinton, Paul Hawken and David Suzuki.

 

Annual Real Estate and Land Use Seminar Recap

Foster Pepper's annual Real Estate and Land Use seminar was held on April 21, 2010 with 110 planners, developers, contractors and municipalities in attendance. Under the tutelage of well-known industry experts Judy Runstad and Gary Fluhrer, topics included:

For more information about these presentations, or to request materials, please contact the appropriate Foster Pepper attorney.

Better Building Local and National Events

What are some noteworthy local and national events related to better building? 

Here’s a quick list:

April 22 Carbon Credits Seattle, WA

May 5-7 Living Future 10 Seattle, WA

May 16-18 NAHB National Green Building Conference Raleigh, NC

June 5-6  Seattle Green Festival