July 28





Savannah International Trade & Convention Center
Receives LEED Gold Certification


The Savannah International Trade & Convention Center (SITCC) has been awarded LEED Gold certification for Existing Buildings by the U.S. Green Building Council, making it the first convention center in Georgia to obtain this certification. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a green building rating system for the design, construction, operations, and maintenance of sustainable building. Following in the footsteps of its sister site in Atlanta (the Georgia World Congress Center earned LEED Silver certification in 2014), both convention centers managed by the Georgia World Congress Center Authority (GWCCA) are now LEED certified.


Part of the LEED certification rating system is validating sustainable best practices already in place at a facility and improving in other areas beyond energy efficiency and carbon emissions reduction. LEED also forces facility managers to look inward at all operations and resource consumption. The SITCC team, along with sustainability consultants and engineers from Sustainable Investment Group (SIG), undertook the LEED EB: O+M certification process to tackle sustainability from a comprehensive approach. Over the course of nine months, the team focused on sustainable policy implementation, an ASHRAE Level I Energy Audit, and various upgrades achieving a 77 ENERGY STAR® equivalent score, earning the building 60 points for LEED for Existing Buildings Gold certification. “We are all very proud of our team and this accomplishment in our first application for LEED certification. We will take the things we learned through the process and continue to improve our operations further,” said Sherrie Spinks, General Manager, SITCC.


The admirable accomplishment of LEED certification comes only three years after the GWCCA began management of the property. “Convention centers sometimes have difficulty comparing operational efficiencies due to the unique nature of the industry – from event frequency to size or type,” said Tim Trefzer, LEED Accredited Professional and Sustainability Manager at GWCCA. “The LEED rating system provided us with a baseline for sustainable operations and maintenance, and we at GWCCA and the on-site team in Savannah are ecstatic to have met the stringent environmental criteria of a LEED Gold building.”


The GWCCA and Savannah International Trade & Convention Center staff are deeply committed to continuous improvement in operations and maintenance of their facilities to provide truly high performing, sustainable work environments. During the project’s performance period, sustainability statistics at the Savannah International Trade & Convention Center include:
– 41% of building occupants use alternative commuting options
– 32% water use reduction
– ENERGY STAR® equivalent score of 77
– 100% of energy usage for 2017 and 2018 is offset by Renewable Energy Certificates (wind power offsets)
– For recent carpet and ceiling tile replacement, 99% of materials purchased (at cost) met sustainability criteria of recycled content and low-chemical materials, and 81% of debris generated replacement was diverted from landfill and recycled
– 94% of janitorial cleaning and paper products purchased meet sustainable criteria
– Average mercury content of lamps in the building is 84.25 picograms per lumen hour