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Industry Briefs

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland team, managed by ASM Global on behalf of the Cuyahoga County Convention Facilities Development Corporation (CCCFDC), has researched and implemented multiple protocols to provide a safe environment for guests, clients, and convention attendees when the building reopens at a later date.

This summer, the Huntington Convention Center earned Global Biorisk Advisory Council® (GBAC) STAR™ accreditation, APEX/ASTM Level 1 Certification, and LEED Gold (v4.1 O+M Existing Buildings). The facility has also implemented the ASM Global VenueShield program, a company-wide environmental hygiene protocol being utilized in more than 325 ASM Global-managed buildings worldwide.

Locally, the Huntington Convention Center team is partnering with Destination Cleveland in the Cleveland Clean Committed Program to follow best practices in cleaning and disinfecting, physical distancing, engineering controls, work force, and customer safe practices. The Huntington Convention Center is also a member of the Cleveland 2030 District, a public-private collaborative working to create a high-performance building district in downtown Cleveland with the goal of reducing the environmental impacts of building construction and operations.

Under the guidance of GBAC, a Division of ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association, the Huntington Convention Center implemented stringent protocols for cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention. To achieve GBAC STAR™ accreditation, the Huntington Convention Center complied with each of the program’s 20 core elements, which range from standard operating procedures and risk assessment strategies to personal protective equipment (PPE) and emergency preparedness and response measures.

“GBAC STAR accreditation empowers facility owners and managers to assure workers, customers and key stakeholders that they have proven systems in place to maintain clean and healthy environments,” said GBAC Executive Director Patricia Olinger. “By taking this important step to implement GBAC STAR, the Huntington Convention Center will receive third-party validation that it follows strict protocols for biorisk situations, thereby demonstrating its preparedness and commitment to operating safely.”

The Huntington Convention Center is also APEX/ASTM Level 1 certified for meeting environmentally sustainable event standards set by ASTM International to increase sustainable practices across the events industry.

LEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, is a globally recognized symbol of excellence in green building. Shortly after opening in 2013, the Huntington Convention Center earned LEED Gold for New Construction and has now been certified LEED-EB (Existing Buildings) Gold by adhering to prerequisites and credits across nine measurements for building excellence from integrative design to human health to material use, along with identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building strategies. LEED-EB helps building owners and managers measure operations, improvements, and maintenance of their facilities on a consistent scale. LEED was introduced in 1998.

The ASM Global VenueShield program is being guided by scientific and medical research input from the Drexel University College of Medicine and its interdisciplinary team facilitated by the Drexel Solutions Initiative. VenueShield protocols implemented in the Huntington Convention Center include the use of PPE, food safety measures, air quality control, surface cleaning, physical/social distancing in meeting rooms and exhibit hall spaces, temperature checks, thermal cameras, hand sanitizers, electrostatic sprayers, reduced touch points, daily monitoring systems, and air purification, filtering and maximization of fresh air exchange.

Earlier this summer, the Huntington Convention Center was honored as one of the nation’s top convention centers in two leading convention industry publications as a Facilities & Destinations 2020 Awards of Excellence Midwest Prime Site Award Winner and a Smart Meetings Smart Stars 2020 Best Convention Centers recipient.

“The health, safety and security of our guests, partners, tenants, and employees remain our highest priority and the milestone of achieving these certifications is yet another important step in safely reopening our facility following local, state, and federal guidelines,” said HCCC General Manager Ron King. “Our team has developed a comprehensive Back-to-Business Plan for our clients and meeting planners, available on our website at including the implementation of the ASM Global VenueShield building safety program.”

About the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland
Located in the heart of downtown Cleveland, the LEED EB Gold certified Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland connects meeting planners to over 410,000 square feet of meeting and event space, including Exhibit Halls, 45 meeting rooms, and two ballrooms. The convention center is connected to the 600-room Hilton Cleveland Downtown and Cleveland Public Auditorium and is located in the Convention Center District where 5,000 hotel rooms and 4 entertainment districts are just steps away.

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