With a LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta becomes the world’s largest LEED-certified convention center. With 3.9 million square feet, it also ranks as the 14th-largest LEED-certified building in the world.
The downtown facility opened in 1976 with a total of 750,000 square feet. When construction was completed in 2002, it had its current 3.9 million in square footage, including 1.4 million of exhibit space.
GWCC staff created an internal sustainability committee in 2005, working to educate staff and implementing a paper recycling program. In 2010, it hired its first the sustainability coordinator. Since then the convention center has made substantial changes in its waste diversion and energy conservation programs.
In fiscal 2014, the GWCC diverted more than 275 tons of single-stream recyclables, 119 tons of organics for composting, donated more than 58 tons of food, baled more than 27 tons of cardboard and diverted a total of 602 tons of material from landfills. With the recent installation of an electric-vehicle charging station, and employee incentives, 47 percent of regular employees have reduced their commutes by using mass transit, car or vanpooling, working compressed workweeks or telecommuting.
According to the U.S. Green Building Council, the convention center is about 27 percent more energy efficient than an average building of similar size and characteristics.