September 9, 2014

Which predicted issues have arisen and what surprises have emerged since the 2013 BuildingGreen-hosted dialog among legal counsels from four architectural firms? Does asking for Health Product Declarations (HPDs) expose a firm to additional liability? Without disclosure, isn’t it easier to argue that the manufacturer bears that responsibility entirely?

These questions and more will be answered by Craig Williams, AIA, Esq., principal and chief legal officer with HKS, along with Russell Perry, FAIA, LEED AP, director of SmithGroup’s Washington, D.C. office and Brodie Stephens, LEED AP, general counsel and secretary with Perkins+Will, Inc. San Francisco, in their session, “Understanding the Legal Landscape of Transparency for Designers” at 2014 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, October 22-24 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The industry is in the early stages of a transformational discussion of materials and their impact on human health. As with the demand for public communication and knowledge about food ingredients, designers are pushing for release of building material ingredients.

The session will also address questions of reflection on changes to the industry over the first year of v4 and the new the new MRc4, "Building Product Disclosure and Optimization.”

In one hour, these three masters in the field will:

  • Articulate legal issues that have arisen in the first year of transparency as a strategy in LEED v4
  • Distinguish between the legal exposure of being aware of the contents of Material Safety Data Sheets and Health Product Declarations
  • Provide insight into the risks of requesting material ingredients for building products
  • Help attendees understand how leading legal counsels are advising their firms to manage the new transparency data

If you are unable to attend Greenbuild, view Craig's presentation via live streaming video as part of our year-long JOIN US presentations. Click here to register.

Craig Williams, a registered architect and attorney, has practiced architecture and practiced law as a trial lawyer representing design professionals. He is active in both the law and architectural communities, serving as a member of the State Bar of Texas Construction Law Section, Dallas Bar Association, American Institute of Architects and AIA/Dallas, to name just a few organizations Williams has been an integral part of.

The Greenbuild International Conference and Expo is dedicated to sustainable, green building. With the green industry’s most passionate professionals and experts on the schedule, attendees will obtain insight as well as inspiration about all things green, especially LEED and related topics.

HKS, Inc. is a leading architectural design firm ranked among the top five architectural engineering firms, according to Building Design+Construction magazine. Since its founding in 1939, HKS has completed construction projects totaling more than $77 billion in more than 1,498 cities located in 84 countries. The firm operates from 27 offices worldwide.

For more information, contact Trish Martineck at

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Tagged building product transparency, Craig Williams, Greenbuild, Greenbuild 2014, Legal Landscape of Transparency for Designers