It is well-established that buildings are one of the largest energy consumers and GHG emitters globally. The built environment is responsible for approximately 40% of the total carbon emissions in the world. At the same time, a mere 3% of buildings in Europe are considered energy efficient with the remaining 97% resulting in wasted energy and contributing 36% of the CO2 emissions in Europe. Evidently, the construction of more sustainable buildings is an important part of reducing emissions and building a more sustainable future.

Despite the obvious growing political pressure and the long-term benefits of greener construction, the current standard form construction contracts used in the industry do not contain clauses that ensure the parties deliver more environmentally friendly buildings. Where industry-wide guidelines as to the standard of work and services exist, they rarely take into consideration environmental matters and where energy efficiency and sustainability goals exist there are not any repercussions if such goals are not met.

By introducing the Green Design Construction Standards clause into construction contracts, contractors and service providers will need to take into consideration agreed sustainability objectives. The aim is to make construction processes more environmentally friendly, while at the same time ensuring that the building itself is built to take into account future climate change risks. Alternatively, the Green Modifications clause incentivises contractors to actively propose green modifications to construction project works. Finally, the JCT Energy Efficiency and Environmental Obligations clause ensures that Practical Completion is not achieved unless the building satisfies the agreed energy efficiency obligations.

Clyde & Co is proud to be assisting clients interested in adopting these clauses into their contracts. Please reach out to me or one of our climate change experts if these clauses are of interest.  

This post is part of a series of short updates summarising the precedent clauses drafted in the course of collaborative hackathons organised by The Chancery Lane Project.  Clyde & Co held its own hackathon in partnership with The Chancery Lane Project in July 2020, and has taken a leading role in the Big Hack, another hackathon organised centrally by The Chancery Lane Project throughout autumn 2020.