Today, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) released its “LEED in Motion: Venues report”, which highlights the efforts of convention centers, sports venues, performing arts centers, community centers, and public assembly spaces to transform their environmental, social and economic footprint through LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certification.
“The scope and scale of the venues industry is enormous, and the leaders creating these spaces have an important role to play in reducing environmental impact,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, President & CEO of USGBC. “By incorporating green practices, venues around the world are positively impacting their triple bottom line — people, planet, profit — while inspiring and educating others to be proactive in the areas of social responsibility and sustainability.”
Venues are large contributors to the U.S. economy. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the number of conventions and events is expected to expand by 44% from 2010 to 2020 — outpacing the average projected growth of other industries. Annually, the top 200 stadiums in the U.S. alone draw roughly 181 million visitors, and roughly 60 million people worldwide attend a consumer or industry trade show. Waste Management estimates that the NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL generate a combined 35,000 metric tons of CO2 each year from their fans’ waste. The convention and trade show industry, one of the largest global contributors to waste, produces an estimated 60,000 tons of garbage each year.
Venue facility managers who incorporate USGBC’s LEED green building rating system into their buildings enjoy increased cost savings, decreased annual operating costs, and a higher return on investment overall. According to the “2015 Green Building Economic Impact Study”, from 2015-2018, it is estimated that LEED-certified buildings in the U.S. will have saved more than $2.1 billion in combined energy, water, maintenance, and waste savings.
The report highlights the green strategies and savings of more than 30 LEED-certified venues across the globe, including Orlando Magic’s Amway Center, the first NBA arena to earn LEED Gold certification using the LEED Building Design + Construction: New Construction rating system, was able to save nearly a million a year, including close to $700,000 in annual energy costs alone because of LEED certification.
At one of the most renowned regional theaters in the country, The Old Globe’s 108,000 square foot complex in San Diego, CA, green strategies were implemented so as not to disrupt the buildings’ aesthetics and primary focus on performance. Low-flow fixtures and aerators reduced overall water usage by 32%, LED retrofits and timer installations resulted in savings of more than 14,000 kilowatt hours per year, and an increase of recycling bins and staff education created the potential for more waste diversion.
Another prominent example is Shanghai 2010 Expo Center’s implementation of sustainable strategies such as a vegetable roof garden, rainwater recycling system, LED lighting, water source heat pumps, high-efficiency water-use fittings, and irrigation, which resulted in the project achieving 82.5% annual total water savings and a 93% reduction in stormwater runoff volume.
LEED is used in more than 164 countries and territories with international demand continuing to grow. According to the Dodge Data & Analytics “World Green Building Trends 2016 SmartMarket Report”, global green building continues to double every three years. In the next 10 years, green building’s growth rate is expected to continue at both the domestic and international levels. USGBC’s recent “Green Building Economic Impact Study” analyzed the economic impact of green construction on the U.S. economy and found that LEED-certified buildings account for 40% of the green construction market’s contribution to the U.S. GDP in 2015. The report also projected that by 2018, green construction will account for more than 3.3 million jobs and generate $190.3 billion in labor earnings in the U.S.
Available to read here, “LEED in Motion: Venues” is the latest in a series of reports from USGBC designed to provide a holistic snapshot of the green building movement. The report equips green building advocates with the insight and perspective to understand the use of the globally recognized LEED rating system and to make a strong case for sustainable building activity.