2022 DETAILED SESSION SCHEDULE
8:30 am Registration Opens
9:00 am Morning Keynote Address
Labor of Love: Making Green Space, Creating Community, and Playing the Long Game
Carolyn Finney, Franklin Environmental Center at Middlebury College
Grab a cup of coffee and kick off the day with this special presentation. Please note that breakfast will not be served this year. Coffee and light continental options will be available.
Christian Cooper. George Floyd. Removal of Confederate statues. Renaming of institutions. Reparations. Systemic racism. What does space have to do with these things? How do we meet this moment? Drawing from her book Black Faces, White Spaces, her relationships “in the field,” and her lived experience, Carolyn Finney will explore the complexities and contradictions of American history as they relate to green space, community, race, belonging, and the power to shape the places in which we live, in our own image. What are we trying to sustain? Whose stories count? We will consider the power of resistance and resilience in the emergence of creative responses to environmental and social challenges in our cities and beyond. Are you in?
Legal Case Law Update: A Look Back at 2022 and What’s in Store for 2023
Claudine Safar, Monaghan Safar Ducham
A.J. LaRosa, MSK
This presentation will focus on the most important new case law and statutory changes in the land use practice areas of the last year. We will review the relevant Act 250, municipal zoning, easement, right-of-way, stormwater, and wetland cases and statutory changes and discuss the ramifications of land use and development in Vermont. Participants will have the opportunity to debate the relative merits and impacts of the changes.
Tracking Trends: What They Mean for Business in Vermont
Megan Sullivan, Vermont Chamber of Commerce
Kevin Chu, Vermont Futures Project
Which towns experienced the most population change over the last decade? Who is more supportive of population growth: older or younger Vermonters? Besides wages, what do Vermonters value most in a job? How do average lot sizes in Vermont compare with those of other states? How many children are in the K-12 school system and what are the ramifications for workforce development? What does all this mean for businesses and development? Learn the answers to these questions and how Vermont stacks up regionally and nationally. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in productive conversations that bring the economic, environmental, and social perspectives closer together.
Evaluating and Regulating PCBs in Vermont’s Buildings: What Developers, Lenders, and Property Owners Should Know about Current Standards, the Process, and Anticipated Regulatory Changes in Vermont
Geoff Hand, Esq., Dunkiel Saunders Elliott Raubvogel & Hand
Sarah Bartlett, Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation
Kurt Muller, PE, VHB
This timely session will discuss current polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) regulation in Vermont, the anticipated changes, the technical procedures for inventorying and sampling for PCBs in materials and indoor air, remediation options, and funding sources for this work. Participants will come to understand the background on PCB exposure from building materials, as well as practical considerations for developers, lenders, and property owners for addressing PCB issues during real estate transactions and redevelopment. The panelists will review the key issues to be addressed by the Department of Environmental Conservation in developing its proposed regulatory program for PCBs in buildings as well as what that means for your next project.
Delivering Successful Projects in the Face of Material Escalation, Labor Shortages, and Supply Chain Turbulence
Kurt Naser, PC Construction
Robert M. Freas, Exponent
Joseph A. Barra, Esq., Robinson + Cole LLP
Art Klugo, BETA Technologies
Ravi Bidichandani, PC Construction
The market has been on a roller-coaster due to the pandemic and recent fluctuating economic conditions. Project teams have had to navigate dynamic material price increases, labor shortages, and supply chain issues to keep their projects on track. This session will feature a diverse panel of construction industry professionals who will offer insight into these issues and best practices on managing them. The panel will provide specific strategies, tactics, and claims, using real project examples during preconstruction, contract negotiation, procurement, and project execution. Be sure to bring your questions when the experts open the floor for an interactive group discussion.
12:00 pm Networking Lunch
Pick up your preordered lunch and find a seat. Tables will be available in the general session room and the exhibit showroom. Use this time to catch up with your colleagues and clients and make new connections.
1:15 pm Choose from three concurrent sessions:
Can Mass Timber Solve Vermont’s Development and Housing Challenges?
Ricky McLain, WoodWorks
Mass timber (engineered wood) often carries a stigma of being more expensive than other building materials. Because of this, there is an assumption that it makes sense only for one-off projects where innovation is celebrated and repeatability is not. Are these assumptions true—or are there other benefits that result in overall cost efficiency? If they are true, how can we expect to build the number of new housing units needed in Vermont and across the country in a sustainable and affordable manner? Can mass timber multifamily projects make financial sense in the typical four- to six-story range, used in conjunction with light wood-frame systems? What new opportunities will the 2021 International Building Code, which Vermont is set to adopt in late 2022, create for mass timber housing in the six- to 14-story range? What new trends and developments are arising as the mass timber supply chain grows, and along with it more experience among developers, contractors, and architects? This presentation will answer these questions and cover much more.
No More Drama: Drafting Development Deals with Dispute Avoidance in Mind
Lisa Shelkrot, Langrock Sperry & Wool
Fritz Langrock, Langrock Sperry & Wool
Vince Todd, Langrock Sperry & Wool
This panel will reveal real-life lessons learned by seasoned practitioners concerning all aspects of development deal-making, all with the goal of avoiding disputes. For corporate/real estate, it will cover how to structure agreements to be “dispute resistant.” For those in litigation, in hindsight, what do some clients wish they had done? What helped them prove their point to avoid litigation? Learn more about the role that mediation can play to bring about a better resolution. Participants will gain tangible knowledge and leave with the skills to review their own contracts immediately.
Speed Networking: Connecting with Fellow Professionals (session limited to 45 people)
Back by popular demand! Participants will have a designated session just for networking. This session will offer short, one-on-one meetings with other attendees for an opportunity to share a quick introduction. Join us for this unique chance to test your communication skills and grow your network.
2:00 pm Networking and Exhibits
Take a break to grab a snack and some coffee.
2:15 pm Choose from two concurrent sessions
Building for Climate: Technology, Trends, and the Evolving Policy Landscape
Jake Marin, Efficiency Vermont
Richard Donnelly, VGS
This session will discuss the state’s climate goals, low-carbon and zero-carbon heating and cooling technologies, the evolving policy landscape, and what energy service providers are doing in response to these elements. The presenters will lead a discussion of cost-effective climate solutions for Vermont’s homes and businesses. These solutions include highly efficient equipment, heat pump technology, hybrid options (electric/gas), biofuels/renewable natural gas, geothermal, and other emerging technologies. The presenters will provide an introduction to technical and financial energy resources available for developers and customers, such as rebates and tax incentives.
Missing Middle Housing: Why It Is Missing and Where to Find It
Colin Hilliard, Burlington Business Association
Ryan Nick, J.L. Davis Realty
In order to move the needle on the housing crisis, we must understand why increased density, specifically that which allows for “missing middle” housing, is a solution. Land use reforms that permit housing stock from duplexes to cottage courts in our downtowns and village centers are a critical place to start. This session will show how communities around the country and here in Vermont are already leading on this issue. What can we learn about how to leverage their playbook to help make our communities more vibrant, green, and just?
3:00 pm Networking and Exhibits
3:15 pm General Session
Beyond the Pandemic: The Vermont Economy in 2022
Kevin Stapleton, Vermont Department of Labor
In this annual favorite, our presenter will review the status of the economy, both in Vermont and nationally. This year, the session will provide a special focus on how the pandemic has reshaped the economic landscape. Bring your questions and join the group discussion.