As we anticipate the housing recovery later this year, there is one thing that we can count on. Consumers will be looking for sustainable product design that will save them money.
I have touched on this topic before on IdeaViews, but I would like to shed a different light on the matter.
Builderonline.com published an article in late January called “How to Avoid the Legal Pitfalls of Green Marketing”. There are few pitfalls when it comes to marketing green products but misleading claims about your products will get you into some serious trouble.
The article is a great reminder of the responsibility that comes with marketing your sustainable products. Embellishing the truth or even lying about the certifications of sustainable developments will not go unnoticed. The FTC, green enthusiasts, and competitors will be making sure that developers and marketers are telling the truth when it comes to green homes.
The article cites some great examples of how companies are getting in trouble with their green claims. Instances where companies are creating their own green rating system, exaggerating features of green products, and making vague claims have gotten reputable companies in trouble.
Builders need to remember that a misunderstanding of the products they build with may result in punishment or scrutiny. This makes it extremely important that you research your building materials and the companies that produce them. A failure to do so will not only make you look bad in the eyes of consumers but it will be an expensive mistake to fix if you are forced to replace any alleged building materials.
The sustainable team at Epstein Becker and Green is well versed in the legal issues with sustainable products.
“There are unique features of sustainable construction that we’re helping our clients understand,” said Maxine Hicks, Managing Partner of Atlanta’s Epstein Becker and Green law firm, a leading specialist in sustainable communities “Many of the building products and techniques are new and don’t have a proven track record, and yet the builder, designer and contractors may be liable for achieving a certain performance level for the building. It’s important to do your homework, and have competent counsel to guide you through the process.”
The last line of the article says it best; “You as the builder are the first target”.