The Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center has earned LEED® recertification, maintaining its LEED for Existing Buildings Gold status. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is the foremost program for buildings that support improved environmental and human health performance.
Owned by Broward County and managed by SMG, the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center was the first convention center in Florida and the third in the nation to earn LEED Gold. Its initial certification in 2012 and its recertification in 2018 were a result of the extensive collaboration between Broward County and SMG. The two have been partners in the convention center’s operation for more than 25 years.
“Since first earning LEED Gold in 2012, our team has been steadfast in implementing and maintaining environmentally friendly business practices including saving water and energy, increasing recycling and waste diversion efforts, and conducting sustainable purchasing,” said SMG Sustainable Programs manager Julia Johnson, the convention center’s full-time LEED AP+ Professional. “Our facility continues to exceed LEED standards for healthy, efficient and environmentally responsible buildings.”
The convention center’s green initiatives include:
- water conservation through low-flow plumbing fixtures that reduce water consumption;
- landscaping consisting of native, drought-resistant plants and an efficient micro-drip system, which provides precise irrigation and prevents over-watering;
- energy-efficient lighting that reduces heat and conserves energy;
- upgraded air-handling and ventilation systems that enhance indoor air quality and use less power;
- and temperature and lighting controls that regulate energy usage.
Additionally, recycling at the center increased from eight percent in 2009 to 78 percent in 2017. Its food and beverage department, SAVOR Fort Lauderdale, practices energy-efficient food preparation and purchases locally-grown ingredients when possible. Leftover food is donated to local food banks and all organic waste is disposed of in an Eco-Safe® Digester, resulting in almost no organic waste in landfills.
“Achieving LEED certification is more than implementing sustainable practices. It represents a commitment to making the world a better place and influencing others to do better,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO of USGBC. “Given the extraordinary importance of climate protection and the central role of the building industry in that effort, SMG demonstrates their leadership through their LEED certification of the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center.”
Founded in 1977, SMG provides management services to 233 public assembly facilities including convention and exhibition centers, arenas, stadiums, theaters, performing arts centers, amphitheaters, equestrian facilities, science centers and a variety of other venues worldwide.