SMG, the convention center and facility management firm hired by the Cuyahoga County Convention Facilities Development Corporation (CCCFDC) to manage operations for the Global Center for Health Innovation and the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland, recently completed its annual RRR (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) report for the LEED Gold facility, resulting in more than 55.6% of trash recycled during the past year. Levy Restaurants, the facility’s exclusive food and beverage provider, donated more than 12,500 meals from leftover food to the Cleveland Food Bank. This aggressive food donation program allows SMG and the Cleveland Food Bank to turn leftovers and surplus food into thousands of nutritious meals for those in need through the Ed Keating Center.
A LEED Gold Facility, the Global Center and the Huntington Convention Center staff works daily to reduce environmental impact, conserving resources, implementing recycling initiatives both internally and for organizations hosting meetings and utilizing environmentally friendly products and practices. A comprehensive co-mingled, single-stream recycling program strives to divert waste from landfills to recycling centers via reducing, reusing, and recycling paper, cardboard, metal, aluminum, glass, and plastic.
In 2016, the Huntington Convention Center hosted 237 events accounting for 441,000 visitors. The events consisted of conventions, trade shows, banquets, meetings, special events, public shows, and sporting events. The building was busy throughout the year, including 61 consecutive occupied days following the Republican National Convention. In addition, the Global Center hosted 290 meetings, nearly all of which were healthcare-related events, mostly private and held in the tenant partner suites.
These events generated 685,689 total pounds of trash (342.84 tons) with the aggressive RRR program recycling 381,009 pounds of trash (190.50 tons). Among the 220,472 tons of recycled trash were 92,127 pounds of cardboard, 42,225 pounds of recycled wood pallets, 28,780 pounds of non-food donations, including pens and paper to CMSD students, 11,332 pounds of plastic, 9,940 pounds of shredded paper, 6,809 pounds of mixed fibers, 6,733 pounds of metals, 2,413 pounds of glass, 750 pounds of hazardous materials, 350 pounds of recycled batteries, and 355 pounds of lamps and light bulbs.
Situated on the property is a working farm to help produce food in-house for catering purposes. Operated by the Levy and SMG team, the farm is home to between 500-800 thousand honey bees in 13 hives generating more than 2,000 pounds of honey annually, 29 chickens that provide about two dozen eggs daily accounting for a quarter of the facility’s total annual shelled egg use, a variety of raised beds that feature seasonal greens, herbs, and vegetables, and three Mangalista heritage breed pigs.
During the RNC, SMG and Levy arranged with a local farmer to rent a family of goats to naturally manicure and eat all of the weeds around the farm. With the planting of milkweed, the primary food source for monarch butterflies, the Huntington Convention Center also serves as a butterfly way station along the migratory route from Canada to Mexico.
During the year, Levy recycled 37,832 pounds of food waste, including donating 10,000 pounds of leftovers to the Cleveland Food Bank, recycling 26,832 pounds for farm food scraps (our pigs eat about 15 gallons of food scraps per day), and recycling 1,000 pounds of cooking oil. The one-at-a-time napkin dispensers reduce napkin waste by 56 percent and the facility utilizes eco-friendly, biodegradable and compostable plates, box lunches, cups, and flatware products.
Levy partners with Chef’s Garden in Huron, a local, family-owned 300-acre vegetable farm, to purchase produce from a source committed to sustainable agriculture utilizing practices that replenish nutrients depleted from the soil and growing crops through natural means. Wherever possible, Levy purchases food products that are sourced locally and responsibly raised, including antibiotic free poultry from Gerber Farms in Kidron and Fresh Fork Market in Ohio City, cage-free eggs, and hormone- and antibiotic-free pork from Cleveland’s Pork Chop Shop.
The Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland uses Grind2Energy™, Emerson’s food waste recycling system, to enable food waste to be converted into energy. Through Grind2Energy’s innovative process, food waste is ground on-site using an industrial-strength InSinkErator® grinder, which is then converted into a slurry. The quasar energy group, a full waste-to-energy company, transports this material to a local anaerobic digestion facilities to extract methane for energy production and to produce a nutrient-rich soil amendment. During 2016, more than 82,000 pounds of food waste was recycled and converted into enough natural gas to heat 22 homes, electricity to power 15 homes, more than 5,700 pounds of nutrient-rich fertilizer, and the elimination of greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 65,653 automobile miles.
The landscaping team also practices “grasscyling” techniques, including utilizing mulching mowers to recycle grass clippings by shredding them into compost and putting them back into the lawn. This mulching practice places nutrients back into the soil and reduces the need for fertilizers. The landscaping team also sends all green waste to a mulching facility to be reused and also utilizes drip irrigation in all areas where possible and only waters the landscape between the hours of 12 a.m. and 6 a.m. to reduce the amount of water used.
The complex has several environmentally friendly design elements to reduce its footprint, including:
Lighting: The complex is equipped with a state-of-the-art lighting control system that is highly programmable and is able to use daylight harvesting by taking advantage of the extensive natural light throughout to reduce energy use.
Low Flow Water Systems: The complex has significant water reduction systems such as low-flow washroom fixtures and the processing of lower water loads in sinks.
Water Re-fill Stations: Placed strategically throughout the complex, water re-fill stations help reduce the need for more plastic water bottles. Last year, the water re-fill stations replaced the usage of 21,000 plastic bottles.
Green Rooftop: The convention center was constructed below grade, allowing for the efficient use of the Earth’s geothermal and insulating properties. This helps reduce heat loss and helps maintain a steady temperature. The green rooftop reduces sewer overflow with extensive plant life and soil materials that efficiently filter storm water.
In 2014, the Global Center for Health Innovation and Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland complex was awarded LEED for Building Design and Construction (LEED-BD+C) Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program.
Established by the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute, LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is the world’s foremost certification program for the design, construction, maintenance, and operation of green buildings. LEED for Building Design and Construction (LEED BD+C) provides a framework for building a holistic green building.
The Global Center and Convention Center earned LEED certification for green design and construction in the areas of energy use, lighting, water, and material use as well as incorporating a variety of other sustainable strategies. The comprehensive sustainability plan includes reducing the quantity of water needed in the design by using more efficient fixtures, optimizing energy efficiency through lighting and HVAC designs, purchasing materials with less environmental impact, and eliminating sources of indoor air pollution during demolition, construction and management of the facility.
The Global Center features extensive natural lighting, reducing the need for and usage of artificial lighting. The Convention Center provides extensive windows for natural lighting, particularly the Lakeside Avenue entrance and Lake Erie overlook from the Grand Ballroom.
The white reflective roof on the above-ground Global Center reduces heat gain in the facility and lessens energy usage.
The facility design includes significant water and lighting reduction plans, including the use of motion sensors, low flow washroom fixtures, processing of lower water loads in sinks throughout the facility, and reduced wattage per square foot using facility-wide dimmers and light reduction systems that saves energy by controlling lighting usage. The building utilizes existing lighting technology and plans for the future including installing fixtures that will accommodate higher-efficiency, emerging LED technologies.
The facility features low- and no-VOC paint materials, cleaning products, and building materials. The facility and the mall encourages and embraces the usage of alternate transportation, including the creation of 275 bike racks on the malls, efficient and nearby connections to RTA bus and rail lines, and the elimination of parking spaces.
District energy provider Cleveland Thermal serves as the heating and cooling energy provider for the new facility, eliminating the need for on-site boilers, chillers, air conditioners and other heating and cooling devices because the thermal heat and chilled water for cooling are delivered by underground pipes from the power plant to the buildings.
The green cleaning program maximizes sustainability through the use of reusable microfiber products and the Orbio cleaning system which uses the power of transformed water enabling cleaning devices and equipment to achieve the same effect without the hazards or large environmental footprint associated with the use of traditional packaged chemicals. The use of 3M Trizac and Stone Protector on the building’s atrium terrazzo floor eliminates the use of strip and wax techniques.
About the Global Center for Health Innovation
The Global Center for Health Innovation was built in Cleveland to serve as the focal point for healthcare innovation, conventions, and industry-specific meetings, and is home to internationally-recognized brands such as GE Healthcare, Siemens, Philips Healthcare, Cisco Systems, Cardinal Health, and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) along with Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals. The Global Center is home to 45 of the world’s leading healthcare brands and more than 300 industry meetings annually. Each tenant partner space displays innovation and technology contributing to the overall mission of improving patient outcomes and lowering costs for healthcare providers and consumers.
About the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland
The Huntington Convention Center provides 225,000 square feet of exhibit space, a 32,000-square-foot Grand Ballroom, 35 meeting and breakout rooms, a robust technology package, an expansive truck loading dock, and a 12.5-acre green roof with spectacular views of Lake Erie. The attached 600-room Hilton Cleveland Downtown Hotel features a 32-story tower filled with guest rooms, meeting space, ballrooms, and multiple dining and entertainment options.
Celebrating its 40th anniversary and founded in 1977, SMG provides management services to more than 230 public assembly facilities including convention and exhibition centers, arenas, stadiums, theaters, performing arts centers, amphitheaters, equestrian facilities, science centers and a variety of other venues. With facilities across the globe, SMG manages more than 15 million square feet of exhibition space and more than 1.5 million sports and entertainment seats. As the recognized global industry leader, SMG provides venue management, sales, marketing, event booking and programming; construction and design consulting; and pre-opening services for such landmark facilities as McCormick Place & Soldier Field in Chicago, Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, Houston’s NRG Park and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. SMG also offers food and beverage operations through its concessions and catering companies, currently serving more than 140 accounts worldwide. For more information visit www.smgworld.com.