It’s been one year since the SMG-managed Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center achieved the distinction of becoming the third convention center in the country and the first in Florida to earn LEED® Gold for Existing Buildings Operations & Maintenance certification. This eco-friendly transformation accommodates events for meeting planners and groups who have a preference for truly green meeting facilities.
Minimizing Carbon Footprint
“The Convention Center team is dedicated to minimizing our carbon footprint and being the most energy-efficient, environmentally friendly work space among convention centers,” said Mark Gatley, regional general manager for SMG and the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center. “The enthusiastic support we’ve received from clients in response to our facility’s green practices has been a rewarding experience.”
Maintaining LEED Certification
Maintaining LEED certification requires the Convention Center’s daily operations to be environmentally sound, from water usage, lighting and recycling to energy conservation and other key applications. Since receiving its certification, the facility has recycled more than 60 percent of its total waste, including 556,522 pounds of metal, glass, paper/cardboard, plastic, construction/demolition materials, organic waste and food donations.
Eco-friendly Enhancements Include:
- A revamped landscape that reduces irrigation by using plants and trees indigenous to South Florida and less water-dependent grass irrigated by a micro-drip system that uses an estimated 65 percent less water.
- A retrofit of older, less energy-efficient lighting with more efficient fluorescents, LEDs, CFLs and induction lighting to reduce both heat and energy.
- A retrofit of older plumbing fixtures with low-flow kits to reduce water consumption by 45 percent in restrooms.
- The replacement of two 19-year-old water-cooled chillers with more energy-efficient chillers.
- The installation of a state-of-the-art, commercial organic waste decomposition machine known as the “Digester,” which helps turn organic kitchen waste into potable water.
- The purchase of Renewable Energy Certificates for off-site renewable wind and hydro energy systems.
- Energy-efficient food preparation and purchasing locally produced food whenever possible.
Model of Efficiency
The comprehensive process of transforming the 600,000-square-foot facility into a model of efficiency was made possible by the commitment of staff, management, SMG, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Broward County Board of County Commissioners.
To maintain the highest standards in sustainability and energy conservation, the Convention Center hired a sustainable programs manager who is accredited by the Green Building Certification Institute as a LEED AP+, and registered with the U.S. Green Building Council for LEED for Existing Buildings recertification, which is scheduled to occur in July 2017.
“Thanks to the unwavering dedication of the Convention Center team, we have been able to make our vision of an environmentally sound building a reality, and we continue working toward a sustainable future," Gatley said.
For more information, visit FtLauderdaleCC.com or call (954) 765-5900.