April 26, 2017
This Just In

  • The architect for Messe Frankfurt’s new Hall 5 has been selected. Gruber + Kleine-Kraneburg will design the building, which opens in 2022.
  • The design will mirror the current two-story Hall 5, but with a column-free first level. Work begins when the Hall 6 renovation is finished.
  • The American Association of Sleep Technologists (AAST) signed with SmithBucklin to provide full-service association management services.
  • Abigail Lynn will serve as Executive Director for AAST, which will move its headquarters to SmithBucklin’s Chicago office on July 1.
  • The Albany Capital Center in upstate New York opened in March with 60+ events on the books for 2017. The overall project cost $78 million.
  • The new center, which is managed by SMG, has approximately 31,700 sf of meeting/exhibit space that can accommodate up to 5,000 people.
  • The San Diego Convention Center (SDCC) is now a LEED GOLD facility, meeting the standards set by the U.S. Green Building Council.
  • New energy-efficient LED lighting, composting all food scraps and low-flow plumbing in restrooms helped the SDCC achieve the Gold rating.

Houston’s GRB Renews LEED Silver Designation

Hil Anderson
, Senior Editor
January 26, 2017
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Houston – A 25% reduction in water usage helped the George R. Brown (GRB) Convention Center in Houston obtain recertification as a LEED Silver facility.

The honor was announced January 25, just days ahead of Super Bowl LI in Houston. The GRB will host the NFL Experience, a public event that will likely draw a six-figure crowd to the downtown center.

The GRB covers a total of 1.8 million square feet (sf). The total includes 770,000 sf of prime exhibit space.

“Meeting planners and tradeshow executives that plan green meetings increasingly want to do business with convention centers that are environmentally responsible,” said Luther Villagomez, COO of Convention Facilities & Operations for Houston First and General Manager of GRB.

The Houston center first earned the coveted LEED Silver designation in 2011. The recertification is valid through 2021 and involved more than simply maintaining the center’s ongoing green programs. LEED criteria are continually updated, requiring certificate holders to also frequently update their practices.

 “There is nothing automatic about recertification,” said Sustainability Manager Wanda Adams, “We improved from where we were in 2011 and when this current certification period ends in 2021, we will have had to have performed even better. It’s not a suggestion; it’s a requirement of recertification.”

The recent upgrades at GRB were highlighted by installation of four new water chillers plus hardware fixtures throughout the building, which slashed water consumption. Recertification also required meeting criteria for recycling, indoor air quality and lighting. A new building automation system was installed to control the HVAC system, lighting and other internal systems. Additionally, the GRB was able to recycle 900 tons of construction materials, diverting it from area landfills.  This reuse of steel, concrete, and granite tiles resulted in a savings of $2 million

“Becoming more energy efficient and reducing our long-term energy use is a prudent, bottom-line action step,” Villagomez said. “Our clients love it, too.”

Reach Luther Villagomez at (713) 853-8000 or GRBinfo@houstonfirst.com; Wanda Adams at (713) 853-8119 or wanda.adams@visithouston.com

 

 

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