VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — The Virginia Beach Convention Center recently earned LEED Gold certification for existing buildings certification.
A variety of sustainability practices were implemented at the 515,000-square-foot facility after it opened in 2007. In awarding the Gold rating, USGBC officials cited the center’s ergonomics training course for employees, energy management outreach program and an environmental communication program, the latter of which includes an environmental awareness presentation broadcasted on a 360-foot video wall.
A facility-wide recycling program recovers everything from glass, steel, and aluminum containers to mercury from fluorescent lights and used cooking oil. In demolishing a convention hall that was formerly located at the same site, general contractor Turner Construction Co. recycled and reused building materials for the new facility.
Energy and water usage are both tracked at the facility, allowing staff to set goals to reduce consumption. The center employs high-efficiency dishwashers, low-flow faucet restrictors, motion-sensor activated sinks and soak dispensers, and drought-tolerant landscaping.
Architect Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, LLP of San Francisco worked in partnership with Norfolk-based architectural firm Clark Nexsen on the project.
The convention center is currently a contestant in the EPA’s national building energy efficiency contest, competing against 13 other commercial buildings across the country to reduce kilowatt-hours in an effort to shed the most energy waste on a percentage basis.