Last week, I had the pleasure of speaking at the William and Mary Environmental Law & Policy Review symposium "It’s Not Easy Building Green." The students did a fantastic job and the audience was large and engaged.
In particular, Mark Pike organized an interactive web 2.0 experience for the symposium that was quite impressive. Many of the symposium participants used Twitter to discuss the event. Additionally, Mark set up a blog (in less than 12 hours!) and live blogged each of the presentations. From what I have heard, the event was even taped and should be made publicly available.
In addition to the technology, there was plenty of substantive discussion about green building law. Here are five things I learned at the symposium:
1. Stephen Del Percio correctly pointed out that state legislation may run afoul of antitrust law if it only incorporates one green building rating system, like LEED.
2. North Carolina’s green building regulations focus on two specific green building strategies — energy efficiency and water usage — instead of requiring certification through a rating system. This seems like a good idea to me.
3. If I am going to describe techniques to reduce water usage, I should be able to list more than just "low flow urinals." Furthermore, I should not emphasize the awkwardness by repeating the word "urinal" and then pausing. Thanks to everyone for pointing this out to me.
4. Darren Prum described a ridiculous scenario in Nevada surrounding a property tax abatement that went awry. Essentially, the property tax abatement that was provided to projects achieving LEED certification almost bankrupted the state.
5. There is a Property Tax Reduction regulation in Virginia for projects that achieve LEED certification or certification under another energy preferred standard. You will definitely be hearing more about this at Green Building Law Update.
Green Building Law Update will be looking at these issues in more depth in future posts. Thanks to all of the symposium participants for their hard work and important ideas.