green venues

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Whenever possible, use a LEED-Certified venue. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a system that the U.S. Green Building Council uses to rate buildings by the number of points achieved in sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, indoor environmental quality and innovation.

There are a number of LEED-Certified conference and convention centers in the U.S. Below is a list of the ones I know about.

Convention Centers
Chicago, IL: McCormick Place Convention Center – West Building (North America’s largest LEED-Certified building)
Kansas City, MO: Kansas City Convention Center – New Grand Ballroom only (LEED-Silver Certified)
Madison, WI: Monona Terrace Convention Center (earned LEED-EB Silver Certification for Existing Buildings)
Pittsburgh, PA: David L. Lawrence Convention Center (world’s first LEED-Certified convention center, with LEED-Gold Certification)
Portland, OR: Oregon Convention Center (achieved LEED-Silver Certification after submitting their re-certification application)
Raleigh, NC: Raleigh Convention Center
Santa Fe, NM: Santa Fe Convention Center (achieved LEED-Silver Certification)
Spokane, WA: Spokane Convention Center (only the expansion is LEED Certified)

Conference Centers
College Park, MD: Marriott’s Inn & Conference Center at the University of Maryland (first hotel ever to be LEED certified)
Kansas City, MO: Unity Village Hotel & Conference Center (achieved LEED-Silver Certification)
Pine Mountain, GA: Callaway’s Lodge Conference Center (first business conference center to be LEED certified)
Portland, OR: Billy Frank, Jr. Conference Center (achieved LEED-Gold Certification)
Salem, OR: Salem Conference Center
Vancouver, BC: Vancouver Conference Center (achieved LEED-Gold Certification) Yes, I know this isn’t a U.S. city, but I’ve actually been to this conference center, and it’s lovely, so I had to include it.

Find out more about the U.S. Green Buildings Council’s LEED Certification program here:

Update 4/16/2008: The Kansas City Convention Center Ballroom achieved LEED Certification in March and so was added to this post.
Update 10/7/2008:  The Oregon Convention Center applied for re-certification, and was awarded LEED-EB Silver Certification (certification for existing buildings).


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