Charlotte Convention Center earns sustainability award

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North Carolina Construction News staff writer

The Charlotte Convention Center was recently awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Operations and Maintenance (O+M) Gold certification, one of the highest designations in the sustainability industry.

The project team includes the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority (CRVA), City of Charlotte, EcoImpact Consulting, LLC, Building EnergetiCx, PLLC, Johnson Controls, Inc, TVS, and Holder-Edison Foard-Leeper.

It’s the first existing city-owned building to achieve LEED Gold demonstrating the city’s commitment to sustainability in all of its buildings. Highlights of the $126.9 million expansion:

  • Total leasable space increased from 550,000 square feet to 600,000 square feet
  • Added approximately 50,000 square feet of meeting room and pre-function space
  • Total meeting spaces increased from 41 to 55
  • Includes two 10,000-sq. ft. spaces each divisible into 19 configurations
  • Created an overstreet pedestrian walkway to the 700-room Westin Charlotte hotel and a light rail station stop, which provides connectivity to a Whole Foods Market, Center City’s 200-plus restaurants, 5,600 hotel rooms, and plenty more retail and nightlife options in other popular Charlotte neighborhoods

The designation follows the completion in October 2021 of the $126.9 million expansion project that added more than 50,000 square feet of public space including 14 new meeting rooms, an over-street pedestrian walkway, and SKYLINE, an immersive LED public art installation. Additional enhancements to the Convention Center resulted in the entire building earning the accreditation.

“This award is another example of Charlotte’s commitment to creating a sustainable future for residents and visitors,” said Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles. “I applaud the Convention Center project team for its work to support the city’s sustainability goals and to create a healthier city.”

The building was recognized by LEED for several best practices, including:

  • Significant energy and water conservation measures including replacement of the building’s original HVAC chillers, boilers and cooling towers with new, energy-efficient flexible units that use water from underground springs, resulting in savings of approximately 100,000 gallons of city water per month.
  • Waste reduction including enhanced recycling, food composting and food service donations.
  • Environmental purchasing and building performance data analysis.

“This achievement is a testament to the strong partnership we have with the city and the trusted relationships we’ve built,” said CEO of the CRVA Tom Murray.  “I’m so very proud of the team earning LEED Gold Certification because it’s an important acknowledgement of a lot of people’s hard work.”

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