Green Building Practices the Focus of Nelson Symposium

Published: January 14th, 2008

Category: Events, News

Nelson SymposiumThe implications of a wide range of efforts on the local, state and national levels designed to encourage and require Green Building practices will be explored at the Seventh Annual Richard E. Nelson Symposium, Friday, Feb. 15, at the University of Florida Hilton Conference Center.

Presented by the UF Levin College of Law and co-sponsored by The Florida Bar Environmental and Land Use Law Section and The Florida Bar City County and Local Government Section, this year’s conference is entitled “Green Building: Prospects and Pitfalls for Local Governments.” The event will draw experts from law and related fields to discuss various topics including Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and other certification programs, state and local climate change initiatives, private environmental lawmaking, building industry and local government programs, and national trends.

The state of Florida is positioning itself to be in the forefront of governmental efforts to incorporate design and construction practices that will yield energy efficiency, enable the conservation of resources, and the protect the environment. Some local governments and universities have also been experimenting with their own Green Building programs. This rapidly changing field presents challenges and potential problems for local government counsel, as well as attorneys who specialize in real estate, land use, environmental and construction law. UF’s Rinker Hall (pictured above) is Florida’s first LEED GOLD-Certified building.

Scheduled presenters include Douglas Buck, director of governmental affairs, Florida Home Builders Association; Kristen H. Engel, Professor of Law, University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law; David J. Heekin, Esq., Landmark Title, Jacksonville, Florida; Charles J. Kibert, Professor, University of Florida M.E. Rinker, Sr. School of Building Construction; Errol E. Meidinger, Vice Dean for Research and Professor, University at Buffalo Law School, State University of New York; Michael Allan Wolf, Richard E. Nelson Chair in Local Government Law, UF Levin College of Law; Joshua Yaffin, Energy Coordinator, Florida Department of Management Services; and Jariel Bortnick, J.D. candidate, UF Levin College of Law.

This is the seventh symposium honoring Richard E. Nelson–who served with distinction as Sarasota County attorney for 30 years–and Jane Nelson, two UF alumni who gave more than $1 million to establish the Richard E. Nelson Chair in Local Government Law, which sponsors the annual event. Their support of the Levin College of Law’s Environmental and Land Use Program has been key to the program’s success and national recognition for excellence.