Magazine Online    The Authority On African-American Conventions, Incentives, & Leisure Travel
Facilities Update
Wilmington Convention Center Awarded LEED Silver Certification

Eco-friendly Waterfront Building Presented With LEED Silver
Certification and Engineering Excellence Award

Dedicated to sustainability from the ground up, the Wilmington Convention Center announced recently that the waterfront building has been awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification. This accomplishment adds to an impressive list of milestones achieved by the Wilmington Convention Center over the past year including record-setting attendances, high-profile bookings and more. Now as part of an upper echelon of sustainable and LEED-certified convention centers across the country, this honor underscores the Wilmington Convention Center’s commitment to the environment.

The U.S. Green Building Council, which grants LEED certification, rates structures according to energy efficiency, water conservation and environmentally beneficial details, and the Wilmington Convention Center was awarded Silver status as a result of its many elements that support green building practices.

The LEED certification process for the Wilmington Convention Center involved the cooperation and teamwork of several parties, including the Wilmington City Council and city staff along with the architect, LS3P ASSOCIATES LTD. of Wilmington and the general contractor, J.M. Thompson Company of Raleigh, N.C.

“We’re thrilled to be awarded LEED Silver certification,” said general manager of the Wilmington Convention Center, Susan Eaton. “Our commitment throughout this project has been to set the standard for sustainable buildings in the area and beyond, and this is a significant achievement for the City of Wilmington and all parties involved. Groups are looking for green meeting and convention spaces, and this designation combined with our waterfront setting, proximity to island beaches, unique meeting spaces and the historic charm of the area continue to make the Wilmington Convention Center an ideal meeting venue.”

The Wilmington Convention Center, located in Wilmington, N.C.’s historic river district with three colorful island beaches nearby, sits on a reclaimed Brownfield site and features a white roof that reflects the sun, therefore decreasing the cooling load on the building. In addition, high-performance windows offer fantastic river views while at the same time conserve energy and help decrease solar heat gain during warmer months.

A sophisticated sand filtration system was designed to prevent storm water pollutants from entering the adjacent Cape Fear River. Each of the interior rooms has individual lighting controls, energy management and air quality sensors with HVAC controls and graphics so groups utilizing the spaces can manage their own comfort level.

The interior features low-odor and low-chemical finishes, while the upholstery and carpets are made from recycled content. Water saving devices were selected and installed to reduce water consumption by an impressive 48 percent. The convention center also implemented a green cleaning and maintenance program, and signs throughout the building educate the public about the green elements incorporated into the building design and construction. In addition, the exterior spaces were considered in this eco-friendly design with dedicated priority parking spaces for fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles as well as easy-access bike racks.

It’s no surprise that with such an innovative design integrated into protecting the fragile maritime ecosystem, and minimizing the building’s footprint on the environment, the Wilmington Convention Center, along with the City of Wilmington, was also recently presented with the Engineering Excellence Award by the American Council of Engineering Companies of North Carolina for the innovative site design focus of the building.

The 107,000-sq. ft. convention center offers organizers and attendees a variety of spaces including a 30,000-sq. ft. Exhibit Hall, 12,000-sq. ft. ballroom, over 15,000 sq. ft. of pre-function space and nearly 6,000 sq. ft. of additional meeting space. Attendees also have the opportunity to enjoy the coastal breeze on the 12,000-sq. ft. riverfront event lawn or take in the sophisticated maritime design of the building and the vintage photographs located throughout that celebrate Wilmington’s historic past. The building also offers SAVOR…Wilmington Catering, a full in-house catering service by SMG dedicated to using the finest and freshest foods and the spirit of fine southern cuisine. With multiple dining options, SAVOR caters to all needs and tastes while maintaining menus distinctive to any event.
The largest convention center on the North Carolina Coast, the Wilmington Convention Center sits within walking distance of local hotels, B&Bs and more than 200 restaurants, shops and attractions in Wilmington’s historic river district. With easy access to the island beaches of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Wrightsville Beach, the area is home to nearly 8,000 hotel rooms and suites with unique settings ranging from the river to the sea.

About the Wilmington Convention Center
The Wilmington Convention Center is the ideal facility for meetings and conventions offering the perfect backdrop of historic charm and waterfront views. For questions about meetings and conventions or bookings at the Wilmington Convention Center, contact Wilmington and Beaches Convention and Visitors Bureau Sales Manager John Sneed at (800) 650-9064, ext. 125 or