This Just In

Seattle Convention Center’s Summit Building Earns LEED Platinum Certification

Maddy Ryley, Managing Editor
Seattle Convention Center’s Summit building earns LEED Platinum certification

SEATTLE — The Seattle Convention Center’s (SCC) Summit building earned LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), just one year after its grand opening. The prestigious LEED Platinum certification cements the SCC as committed to sustainable practices and operations.

The Summit building took many measures to achieve the highest-level certification, including reclaiming wood to repurpose throughout the building; capturing, filtering and using rainwater for landscaping and flushing; and featuring a hybrid radiant heating and cooling system in the lobby and pre-function areas.

“I think this goes without saying that our mindset is to be as environmentally sustainable as possible in how we manage the buildings,” Seattle Convention Center President and CEO Jeff Blosser said. “We could add additional solar panels, continue to improve our diversion options, buy more alternative energy instead of fossil fuels and work to improve our recycling opportunities.”

The USGBC has recognized the SCC with various LEED certifications for its different buildings, reaching the silver level for other parts of the facility.

“The Seattle Convention Center continues to strive for a higher rating in LEED for the Arch building,” Blosser said. “The 35-year-old building has its drawbacks when trying to comply with the needed elements to achieve gold or platinum status. We operate the building in a very sustainable fashion, including capital projects to change out lighting, making sure all cleaning supplies are within LEED standards and a waste diversion rate of almost 80%. The capital dollars needed to receive a higher LEED rating are being reviewed and we are hopeful we can achieve a gold rating in our next recertification process.”

Sustainability in Seattle

The city of Seattle has been championing sustainability for years, receiving recognition and designations for its efforts. Visit Seattle reports that while sustainability has been part of the conversation for a while, it is growing in importance for incoming and perspective groups.

“Any time you convene a large group of people in a centralized location, significant carbon emissions and waste will be generated,” said Kelly Saling, Senior Vice President and Chief Sales Officer at Visit Seattle. “We as meeting professionals are keenly aware of this and it is encouraging to see sustainable initiatives gaining interest and traction each year. Here in Seattle, we enjoy a singular destination that interweaves a metropolis and beautiful natural landscapes. People do not forget the first time they fly into Seattle and see the snowcapped peaks of the Cascades, the Olympics, and Mount Rainier. We look out our windows and are reminded of the need to protect the magic of this region. It’s all the motivation we needed to instate mandatory composting in 2009, develop a 90% renewable energy electrical grid, and divert over 60% of our waste — nearly double the national average.”

Reach Jeff Blosser at (206) 694-5010

Photo Rights: Cory Parris Photography, Inc.

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