The Walter E. Washington Convention Center, a 2.3 million square-foot facility in Washington, D.C., has been awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).
The convention center achieved LEED v4.1 Operations and Maintenance: Existing Buildings Gold certification for implementing practical and measurable strategies and solutions in areas including sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality.
“As we celebrate [the center’s] 20th anniversary this year, the LEED Gold certification proves that our building is state-of-the-art,” said Events DC President and CEO Angie M. Gates.
Gates added, “Washington, D.C., is the first city in the world to achieve Platinum-level LEED for Cities Certification. Our new certification shows Events DC’s, as well as the District’s, commitment to sustainability, operational excellence, efficiency, and high-performance design.”
The convention center uses a variety of sustainable strategies. For example, low-emission glass minimizes temperature fluctuations, and sensor-controlled high-efficiency lighting and a dedicated energy management system in its central plant contribute to significant energy conservation. Highly efficient bathroom fixtures reduce the demand for water supply and waste systems. Paint, adhesives, sealants, and similar building materials contain low to no volatile organic compounds.
The convention center also has an extensive waste diversion program with a strong focus on education for staff and service partners. A waste audit was conducted to identify opportunities to reduce waste and increase recycling and composting by discovering exactly what the center’s staff, service partners, and guests were disposing and how they were disposing the waste.
“LEED is a transformative tool that can be used and adapted for all kinds of projects, including large convention centers like the Water E. Washington Convention Center,” said Peter Templeton, president and CEO of the USGBC.
“The center has been a landmark in the nation’s capital for the last 20 years, and its certification symbolizes a dedicated pledge to reduce its environmental footprint, showcasing a resolute commitment to sustainability to its staff, visitors, and the wider community in the District of Columbia.”
More than 105,000 commercial and institutional projects are currently participating in LEED, comprising more than 12 billion square feet of construction space in all 50 states and more than 185 countries and territories.