San Diego Convention Center shines in LEED spotlight

San Diego Convention Center shines in LEED spotlight

Photo courtesy of San Diego Convention Center Corp.

The San Diego Convention Center has taken its environmental ambitions to the next level by achieving Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certification.

During a public celebration to mark the important milestone for the facility, San Diego Mayor Faulconer praised the venue’s efforts in achieving the benchmark environmental standards developed by the U.S. Green Building Council.

“San Diego is one of the greenest cities in the nation, so it makes sense that we are home to one of the greenest convention centers as well,” he said.

“As we move forward with plans to modernize and expand the San Diego Convention Center, this news shows how important it is to continually invest in this economic engine.”

After achieving LEED silver certification in 2011, the facility has been working to reach the gold standard and improve a sustainability business model that began when the venue opened in 1989.

In fact, long before “going green” was common, the SDCC was the first facility to install recycling bins in 1990, according to SDCC officials.

The following sustainability achievements helped SDCC graduate from silver to gold certification:

• In 2016, the facility diverted a record 79 percent of materials, or 3,162 tons, an amount almost equal to the weight of eight Boeing 747s.

• Replaced old fluorescent lights with 11,650 energy-efficient LEDs in the exhibit hall, meetings rooms and offices.

• Ninety-eight percent of all restrooms have been renovated to low-flow water usage, helping reduce indoor water usage by 32 percent.

• The facility recycles 100 percent of all cardboard with the help of two cardboard balers.

• During Comic-Con alone, the SDCC recycled 50 tons of cardboard. That’s more than eight times the weight of the Gaslamp Quarter Archway sign that hangs above Fifth Avenue.

• All food scraps are all composted and reused by local gardeners.

• Untouched food that hasn’t spoiled gets donated to the San Diego Rescue Mission.

• Ninety-one tons of edible food leftover from events was donated last year, which helped feed 145,000 hungry San Diegans.

In addition, Centerplate, the facility’s in-house food and beverage team, has a sustainable food purchasing plan. This involves purchasing produce, vegetables and protein such as locally caught fish, from within a 100-mile radius whenever possible.

Local farmers say this partnership is crucial to their business and helps boost the local economy.

Being green also helps the convention center to continues to attract customers and boost the local economy. In 2017, the estimated regional impact of San Diego’s conventions and meetings business is projected to be $1.1 billion.

Topics: Architectural Firms, Associations / Organizations, Building Owners and Managers, Certifications, Construction Firms, Consulting - Green & Sustainable Strategies and Solutions, Convention Centers, Energy Saving Products, Great Commercial Buildings, Sustainable Communities, Urban Planning and Design, USGBC

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