Today, the “green” of the global environmental, economic and social sustainability
movement continues to produce venues
and rooms for all people to experience and
enjoy. From enhanced health, well being
and productivity to numerous economic
benefits, widespread research confirms
both the human and the business case for
According to 2014 findings from Bos-ton-based Lux Research, the $260 billion global market for green buildings is
expected to only “intensify.” In the U.S., an
estimated 20 percent of new construction
is green. Between now and 2023, global
spending on “greening” existing infrastructure is expected to top $960 billion.
Sustainability is the future, and it’s blos-
soming across the global meetings landscape.
From a field of many, these innovative
showcases in the U.S. and abroad reveal the
extent to which green consciousness and
investing in the future has taken root. On the
green stage, everybody stars.
Huntington Convention Center of
Cleveland and Global Center for
The comprehensive sustainability plan
for Cleveland’s new $465 million, LEED
Gold-certified convention center and con-
nected healthcare-focused Global Center
exhibition facility, which opened in 2013,
included preserving the past while protect-
ing the future. More than a century earlier,
in 1903, famed Chicago architect Daniel
Burnham brought his national “City Beau-
tiful” movement to Cleveland, modeling
the city’s civic core after comparable cam-
puses from ancient Greek and Rome. As
one of the finest surviving examples of the
style to this day, the district, known as the
Group Plan, includes the Cleveland Mall
public park. To introduce the new conven-
tion project without upsetting Burnham’s
design, the former was constructed below a
good two-thirds of the Mall.
Covering 12. 5 acres, it’s a unique green
roof solution, with extensive plant life and
soil materials helping to insulate the convention center while filtering storm water and
reducing sewer overflow. Below grade, solutions were focused on conserving resources,
recycling materials generated both internally
and by convention clients, and utilizing environmentally friendly products and practices.
Specific programs include a sustainability farm that produces food for in-house
catering, including chickens for eggs,
bees for honey, and vegetables and herbs.
With nearly all ( 95 percent) of demolition
materials from the prior site recycled, the
Offered within venues throughout the hospitality, entertainment and conferencing world, the VIP “green room” is thought to date back to medieval times, described as grassy centralized areas
BY JEFF HEILMAN
where actors performed in the round. Another popular
possibility comes from Shakespeare’s day, when actors
awaited the stage in a room filled with plants and shrubs.
MASSACHUSETTS MUSEUM OF
NORTH ADAMS, MASS.
HUNTINGTON CONVENTION CENTER
OF CLEVELAND AND GLOBAL CENTER
FOR HEALTH INNOVATION,
Innovative solutions transform meeting venues
into places where people—and the planet—get
the VIP treatment