The Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center achieved LEED Gold certification following a $3 million upgrade project last year. This is the first LEED-certified convention center in Florida. There are only three convention centers nationwide with LEED Gold status for existing buildings.
The transformation of the 600,000-sf facility began in 2008. New eco-friendly initiatives include water-saving devices, energy efficient lighting and temperature control systems. The facility is now 100% carbon neutral through the purchase of carbon offsets.
Another upgrade is the installation of a $38,000 state-of-the-art commercial organic waste machine that turns kitchen waste into grey water, which can be used for landscaping purposes. The convention center recycled about 58% of its total waste last year. The kitchen staff named the machine “Diana the Disaster.” In addition, the onsite F&B team donates unused food to the local Daily Bread Food Bank.
“Throughout the 3-year process, our convention center team focused on becoming the most energy-efficient, least polluting and healthiest work space among convention centers, which makes us more attractive to meeting planners and groups who are looking for a truly green meeting facility,” says Mark Gatley, regional general manager.