Savannah convention center earns LEED gold

Savannah convention center earns LEED gold

Photo courtesy of Savanah Now

The Savannah International Trade & Convention Center has been awarded LEED gold certification for existing buildings by the U.S. Green Building Council, making it the first convention center in Georgia to obtain gold level certification, according to trade center general manager Sherrie Spinks.

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a green building rating system for the design, construction, operations and maintenance of sustainable buildings.

The trade center follows in the footsteps of the Georgia World Congress Center, its sister site in Atlanta, which earned LEED silver in 2014, reports Savannah Now.

Part of the LEED certification rating system is validating sustainable best practices already in place at a facility and improving in other areas beyond energy efficiency and carbon emissions reduction, Spinks said.

LEED also forces facility managers to look inward at all operations and resource consumption.

The Savannah team, along with sustainability consultants and engineers from Sustainable Investment Group, a national LEED consulting, training and services company, undertook the certification process more than a year ago, focusing on sustainable policy implementation, a comprehensive energy audit and various upgrades.

The trade center’s LEED certification comes three years after the Georgia World Congress Center began management of the property.

“Convention centers sometimes have difficulty comparing operational efficiencies due to the unique nature of the industry — from event frequency to size or type,” said Tim Trefzer, LEED-accredited sustainability manager at GWCCA.

“The LEED rating system provided us with a baseline for sustainable operations and maintenance, and we at GWCCA and the on-site team in Savannah are ecstatic to have met the stringent environmental criteria of a LEED gold building.”

During the LEED certification project’s performance period, sustainability statistics at the Savannah International Trade & Convention Center included: 

-- 41 percent of building occupants use alternative commuting options

-- 32 percent reduction in water use

-- ENERGY STAR equivalent score of 77

-- 100 percent of energy usage for 2017 and 2018 is offset by Renewable Energy Certificates (wind power offsets)

-- 99 percent of materials purchased for recent carpet and ceiling tile replacement met sustainability criteria of recycled content and low-chemical materials

-- 81 percent of debris generated by the replacement was diverted from landfill and recycled

-- 94 percent of janitorial cleaning and paper products purchased meet sustainable criteria.


Topics: Associations / Organizations, Building Owners and Managers, Certifications, Construction Firms, Convention Centers, Energy Saving Products, Engineering Firms, Great Commercial Buildings, Sustainable Communities, Urban Planning and Design, USGBC

Companies: U.S. Green Building Council

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