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Legal Risks of Failing to Consider Climate Change in Design Beyond Code Compliance

September 30, 2021 @ 12:00 pm 1:00 pm

1.0 LU/HSW

AIA LBSB Members Free | Non-Members $20

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Environmental considerations have long been a part of the design process. Obviously, architects must consider a project’s environment. It’s the reason why outdoor malls exist in California but not in Minnesota. But climate change has introduced a host of new environmental concerns for architects to consider and address. Very generally, climate change presents architects with two overarching problems to solve: (i) how to design projects to mitigate climate change; and (ii) how to design projects to cope with the effects of climate change. Solving each of these problems is difficult in its own right, but implementing them may be just as difficult—if not more difficult. For instance, an architect may have design solutions to reduce energy consumption, but she might compromise her design because a cost-sensitive client simply does not see the need to address energy consumption, or a general contractor may see the architect’s solutions as a cost increase that cuts into its profits.

This presentation is focused on encouraging and helping architects consider solutions to climate change in their design. This presentation will highlight: (i) the legal risks of ignoring climate change in design; (ii) why construction professionals might resist considering climate change; (iii) how to overcome that resistance; and (iv) how architects can advocate for design that addresses climate change. The speakers will include an attorney who represents architects, engineers, and general contractors, and at least one non-architect construction professional.

Learning Objectives: 

  1. Understand the legal risks of failing to consider climate change in design beyond code compliance.
  2. Understand why other construction professionals (e.g., developer, builder, or even other design professionals) might resist considering climate change beyond code compliance
  3. Understand ways to overcome and address resistance from other construction professionals.
  4. Understand ways to advocate for considering climate change in design by addressing concerns of other construction professionals


Paul A. Breucop is an attorney in Collins Collins Muir + Stewart LLP’s Orange County office. His practice focuses on business, construction, professional liability, and public entity litigation. At the firm, he has represented a range of clients, including the general contractors, architects, engineers, public entities, as well as insurance brokerage, investment, and private security businesses. Before joining the firm, Mr. Breucop represented investors, including public entities, in securities fraud litigation across the country. He has substantial experience in all phases of litigation, including pre-litigation investigations, pleadings, discovery, class certification, dispositive motions, and appeals.

Mr. Breucop received his Bachelor of Arts in Classics and Religious Studies from Santa Clara University in 2006 and his Juris Doctor from the University of California Hastings College of the Law in 2011.

Note: Webinar log-in will be sent via email one day in advance of the program. Attendance will be taken during the program using a link to an online form.

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