Bob Sykes & Hans Lauterbach, partners in the Orange County office of leading California real estate law firm, Cox, Castle & Nicholson LLP, have been certified as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professionals (LEED AP) by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The Washington, D.C.-based USGBC is a non-profit organization committed to encouraging cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. With a community comprising 78 local affiliates and more than 20,000 member companies and organizations, the USGBC is the driving force of an industry that is projected to soar to $60 billion by 2010.
The USGBC’s LEED is the leading green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts. There are currently over 28,000 projects comprising over 6 billion square feet of construction space that are seeking or have obtained LEED certification.
As LEED Accredited Professionals, Sykes and Lauterbach join a select group of attorneys nationwide who have recognized the significance of “green” building trends on the future of the building industry and have responded by getting certified. The LEED AP designation sets apart those professionals with the knowledge and skills to successfully administer the LEED certification process.
"Our clients, in every real estate sector, are aware of the importance of sustainability and we continue to find more ways to provide the excellent service they deserve," said Art Spaulding, Managing Partner of the firm's Orange County office. “This is an outstanding accomplishment for Bob and Hans, for Cox, Castle & Nicholson LLP and for all of our clients."
Sykes and Lauterbach, whose legal practices focus on commercial property acquisition, development (including redevelopment), leasing and construction, see an opportunity to help their clients with the development, operation and leasing of sustainable projects. “Although the current commercial development cycle has slowed significantly as a result of the recession, commercial property owners are looking for ways to reduce operating costs to lower occupancy costs for their tenants, many of whom are struggling in these difficult times. Many commercial property owners are implementing sustainable practices that save energy and water costs, and are seeking LEED Existing Buildings Operations and Maintenance (LEED EBOM) certification to enhance the efficiency and marketability of their projects,” according to Sykes.
With the passage of Assembly Bill 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act, which requires California to develop regulations that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, California is at the forefront of the green building movement. “When the development cycle returns, every project built in California will be required to implement sustainable practices. Many developers will seek LEED certification for their projects as many tenants desire to be located in energy efficient, sustainable buildings. As LEED AP’s, Bob and I will be able to help clients obtain and implement LEED EBOM certification for their existing projects and LEED New Construction certification for their future projects. We will be able to help our clients structure their leases, construction contracts and architects agreements to conform to the LEED certification requirements,” said Lauterbach. A few organizations have tried to create model green leases, but according to Sykes, “There is no model green lease or construction contract that works for each project. Each lease and contract must be tailored to meet the LEED certification requirements for the specific project since LEED gives building owners the option as to which sustainable practices the owner will implement.”
“Bob and I can help our clients find their way through the maze of LEED certification requirements,” says Lauterbach.” Although according to the Green Building Certification Institute website, there are less than ten LEED AP attorneys in Orange County, and less than 100 LEED AP attorneys in California, “most of the other LEED AP attorneys are land use or environmental attorneys. There are few, if any, other LEED AP attorneys in Orange County, much less Southern California, who have handled the development and leasing for numerous shopping center, office, industrial, and mixed-use urban development projects throughout California that Hans and I have,” says Sykes.
If you would like additional information on how Cox, Castle & Nicholson LLP attorneys can assist you during the LEED certification process, please contact:
Bob Sykes at 949.260.4640 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Hans Latuerbach at 949.260.4645 or email@example.com