Dedicated to sustainability from the ground up, the Wilmington Convention Center announced that the waterfront building has been awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification. This accomplishment adds to a list of milestones achieved by the Wilmington Convention Center over the past year, including record-setting attendances, high-profile bookings and more.
The U.S. Green Building Council, which grants LEED certification, rates structures according to energy efficiency, water conservation and environmentally beneficial details, and the Wilmington Convention Center was awarded Silver status as a result of its many elements that support green building practices.
The LEED certification process for the Wilmington Convention Center involved the cooperation and teamwork of several parties, including the Wilmington City Council and city staff along with the architect, LS3P ASSOCIATES LTD. of Wilmington and the general contractor, J.M. Thompson Company of Raleigh, N.C.
“We’re thrilled to be awarded LEED Silver certification,” said Susan Eaton, general manager of the Wilmington Convention Center. “Our commitment throughout this project has been to set the standard for sustainable buildings in the area and beyond, and this is a significant achievement for the City of Wilmington and all parties involved. Groups are looking for green meeting and convention spaces, and this designation combined with our waterfront setting, proximity to island beaches, unique meeting spaces and the historic charm of the area continue to make the Wilmington Convention Center an ideal meeting venue.”
The Wilmington Convention Center, located in Wilmington, N.C.’s historic river district with three island beaches nearby, sits on a reclaimed Brownfield site and features a white roof that reflects the sun, therefore decreasing the cooling load on the building. In addition, high-performance windows offer fantastic river views while at the same time conserving energy and helping decrease solar heat gain during warmer months.
Each of the interior rooms has individual lighting controls, energy management and air quality sensors with HVAC controls and graphics, so groups utilizing the spaces can manage their own comfort level.
The interior features low-odor and low-chemical finishes, while the upholstery and carpets are made from recycled content. Water saving devices were selected and installed to reduce water consumption by 48 percent. The convention center also implemented a green cleaning and maintenance program, and signs throughout the building educate the public about the green elements incorporated into the building design and construction. In addition, the exterior spaces were considered in this eco-friendly design with dedicated priority parking spaces for fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles as well as easy-access bike racks.
The 107,000 square-foot convention center offers organizers and attendees a variety of spaces, including a 30,000 square-foot Exhibit Hall, 12,000 square-foot ballroom, over 15,000 square feet of pre-function space and nearly 6,000 square feet of additional meeting space. Attendees also have the opportunity to enjoy the coastal breeze on the 12,000 square-foot riverfront event lawn or take in the sophisticated maritime design of the building and the vintage photographs located throughout that celebrate Wilmington’s historic past. The building also offers SAVOR, a full, in-house catering service by SMG dedicated to using the finest and freshest foods and the spirit of fine southern cuisine. With multiple dining options, SAVOR caters to all needs and tastes while maintaining menus distinctive to any event.
The largest convention center on the North Carolina Coast, the Wilmington Convention Center sits within walking distance of local hotels, B&Bs and more than 200 restaurants, shops and attractions in Wilmington’s historic river district. With easy access to the island beaches of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Wrightsville Beach, the area is home to nearly 8,000 hotel rooms and suites with settings ranging from the river to the sea.