Miami Beach Convention Center Achieves Pretigious LEED Silver Certification

Miami and West Palm Beach, FL (September 12, 2020) -- The Miami Beach Convention Center (MBCC) has achieved LEED Silver Certification as designated by the US Green Building Council (USGBC) for its environmental performance and sustainable operations. This exciting achievement recognizes environmentally friendly infrastructure and practices installed at the venue as part of its recently completed $620-million-dollar renovation.

"This exciting milestone for the MBCC
represents the culmination of a long

journey, demonstrating the MBCC's
serious commitment to resiliency and
sustainability," said Freddie Peterson,
MBCC's General Manager.

LEED (Leadership in Energy and
Environmental Design) is the
preeminent program for the design,
construction, maintenance and
operations of high-performance
green buildings. LEED uses a point
system based on six categories of
building and operational sustainability,
evaluating a venue's green practices
and infrastructure such as water
efficiency, indoor air quality, energy efficiency, material resources, and innovative designs. The City of Miami Beach's Rising Above 
commitment to sustainability and resiliency includes a Green Building Ordinance requiring LEED certification for all new public projects, including the MBCC.

The MBCC’s $620-million-dollar expansion project includes many environmentally friendly features. The site itself offers easy access to alternative transportation, including public transportation options and charging stations for fuel efficient vehicles. The site maximizes open spaces, transforming six acres of asphalt into a vibrant public park, thereby reducing heat island effect and relocating parking to the venue’s roof. The landscape design preserved more than 200 existing trees and planted a new canopy of 1,300 more, promoting incorporated irrigation and environmental stabilization through plant species selection.

Installation of reduced-flow water faucets and flush fixtures at the MBCC increase water efficiency, with an expected 36% reduction in water consumption, translating into an annual savings of about 115,000 gallons of water. Reduced energy consumption (of about 15% overall) is supported by sun-shading "fins" along the exterior perimeter of the building preventing excessive solar heat gain. The venue leverages daylight in public spaces to reduce the need for artificial lighting, and uses high-efficiency LED lighting and occupant light sensors throughout the venue to achieve reduced energy consumption. MBCC went through a comprehensive building Commissioning and Measurement & Verification process to further enhance performance of the building's energy systems.

Approximately 69% of the MBCC building is retained and renovated, and more than 90% of the construction waste from the project was recycled, re-used or otherwise diverted from the waste stream. Recycled steel content accounted for more than 75% of the structure steel in the project. There is also recycled content in the finishes, metal framing, curtain wall systems, and doors and hardware systems.

The stormwater drainage system for this project is intended to reduce or eliminate water pollution by increasing on-site filtration, removing contaminants from the stormwater runoff prior to outfall through a series of catch basins and conveyance system to two different outfalls, with the Collins Canal as the final receiving waterbody. Two stormwater pump stations with high-water quality treatment systems are on site, designed to capture and treat 100% of the average annual site rainfall and further reduce water pollution by removing 80% of the total suspended solids that enter the pumps.

Sea-level rise (a critical concern for the City of Miami Beach) is addressed in several ways. Mangrove habitats and native vegetation was restored along Collins Canal Park. Critical building systems such as emergency generators, communication systems, electrical switchgear, electrical panels and emergency responder radio enforcement systems were raised above new flood level requirements. In addition, the first floor of the venue was raised by four inches to meet the current building code requirements.

"This project demonstrates the exciting possibilities when renovating existing buildings using the LEED v2009 rating system," said Jonathan Burgess, Principal of Spinnaker Group. "We enjoyed working with the talented professionals from the City of Miami Beach and the supporting vendors and contractors that, together, brought this inspired project to fruition. Without question, our integrated team approach significantly reduced the project's environmental footprint."

"Our environment is our most important resource, and the City of Miami Beach incorporates resiliency into every decision we make," said Mayor Dan Gelber. "LEED Silver certification for the Miami Beach Convention Center is an incredible achievement and yet another example of the City's longstanding commitment to sustainable, environmentally friendly practices, like our Plastic Free MB program and other initiatives."

Fentress Architects, designers of the MBCC’s renovation and expansion project, also shared excitement over the achievement. "The Miami Beach Convention Center's LEED Silver certification exemplifies the significant coordination, innovation and green-building leadership that was demonstrated among the entire project team," said Deborah Lucking, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Director of Sustainability at Fentress Architects. "This project stands as a testament of resilient, sustainable and forward-thinking design that will serve as a commitment to the community now and well into the future."

The MBCC is the centerpiece to Miami Beach's meetings and conventions industry. Re-imagined following the $620-million-dollar renovation, the expanded MBCC includes a new 60,000 sf Grand Ballroom, almost 500,000 sf of exhibition space, an expanded Grand Lobby, pre-function areas that are bathed in natural light, up to 84 breakout rooms, almost 2,100 miles of cabling to support all IT communications, $7.1 million dollars' worth of art curated by the City of Miami Beach Art in Public Places program, nine acres of public green space that can serve as incremental event space, and much, much more.

Founded in 2003, the award-winning Spinnaker Group helps facilitate the delivery of the highest quality, sustainable building projects. Using an integrated team approach with a diverse range of clients, the firm has nearly 150 LEED Certified projects under its belt and more than 700 million sf of commissioned building space worldwide. In addition to tapping USGBC's LEED and other rating systems as anchors of its sustainable consulting services, Spinnaker's diverse team of design and construction professionals offer project management, energy modeling, fundamental and enhanced building commissioning, neighborhood planning, operations and maintenance consulting, indoor air quality testing, and life cycle analyses for all types of building projects.