FORT LAUDERDALE A
A Renewed Focus on Service and Sustainability
t the Greater Fort Lauderdale/ Broward County Convention Center, sustainability practices have redefined the way the award-winning facility oper- ates and serves guests every day. In fact, the center anticipates earning LEED certification this spring as a result of its
renewed emphasis on “thinking green.” “Experiencing this vision become a reality as
our convention center moves closer to LEED certification is even more exciting than I thought it could be,” said Nicki E. Gross- man, president and CEO of the Greater Fort Laud- erdale/Broward County Con- vention & Visitors Bureau (GFLCVB). “We are positioning ourselves as a ‘LEEDer’ among convention centers, with a truly state-of-the-art facility in a fantastic destination.” A relatively early adopter
of green practices, the cen- ter’s first step toward reduc- ing its carbon footprint began with the creation of a multi- faceted recycling program in 1992. Fast forward to 2008, when the center officially formed the “Green Team” and began working with Sustain- able Options, LLC, Green Building Consultants to register the center with the U.S. Green Building Council and begin the LEED-certification process.
“We are positioning ourselves as a ‘LEEDer’ among convention centers, with a truly state- of-the-art facility in a fantastic destination.”
Throughout the past year, the center has
made leaps and bounds in implementing new eco-friendly enhancements. Exterior improve- ments include new landscaping of indigenous plants and trees as well as upgrades of the building’s front walkways, now covered in color- ful motifs. The revamped landscape not only looks beautiful, but also substantially reduces irrigation requirements. New sprinklers that use 65 percent less water than the previous sprin-
kler system are now used to irrigate the center’s plants, trees, and less water-dependent turf grass. As a result, the convention center’s annual water usage from irrigation will drop from 10 million gallons to less than five million gallons. Even the F&B team has joined the move-
ment by implementing sustainable alternatives in the “heart of the house.” Nicknamed “SAVOR,” the culinary team supports the cen- ter’s pursuit of LEED certification by procuring fresh and local ingredients whenever possible. And a recently installed, state-of-the-art com- mercial decomposition machine, known as “the Digester,” now turns all kitchen organic waste into water, which is then recycled at a water- treatment plant and returned as potable water.
GREEN TEAM: Everything the Greater Fort Laud- erdale/Broward County Convention Center does, from small gestures to major enhance- ments, illustrates its commitment to becoming as energy- efficient and eco- friendly as possible. The center’s impres- sive progress throughout the past year in pursuit of LEED certification makes it one of the most innovative and forward-thinking convention centers in the country.
pcmaconvene March 2012