Making good environmental choices is not only the responsible thing to do – it's the right thing to do. That's why the San Diego Convention Center (SDCC) is looking to become LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified – one of only a handful of convention centers in the nation to hold such credentials.
LEED is an internationally-recognized green building certification system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). It is the nationally-accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of green buildings. LEED provides third party verification that a building is using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the green metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.
For more than 20 years, the SDCC has been adhering to LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Management performance standards and practices. According to Operations Director Robert DeNofrio, LEED certification seemed like a natural next step for our facility.
“We feel as if we’ve been working toward LEED certification for the past several years," says DeNofrio. "Because we already meet a lot of LEED requirements for an existing facility, we thought that we should go through the process and become recognized by LEED for our proactive green efforts.
"Our goal is to become one of the first LEED Gold convention centers in the United States."
Because LEED certification and the environmentally-responsible practices that go with it are becoming more and more important to our clients, the SDCC wanted to take that final step to show meeting planners that we ‘walk the talk’ when it comes to being green.
"By using less energy, LEED-certified buildings save money, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community," says Kate Edwards, director, conference and events, at the USGBC.
The SDCC has contracted Green Building Services to assist in the LEED certification process. The SDCC hopes to become LEED certified by early 2011.