When a builder enters into a contract for the construction of a building, the builder needs to set realistic green building performance goals that are within the builder’s reasonable control. It is also advisable to establish a mutually agreeable method for measuring building performance after construction is complete.  Builders should never represent in a contract that an energy efficient home will produce specific energy costs or savings, since the truth of such claims is dependent on factors outside of the builder’s control, such as fluctuating utility costs and homeowner usage patterns.

Taking time at the outset of a project to define and set expectations for green building performance goals in the contract is a crucial ingredient for avoiding disputes at the end of construction.