Built on the scenic Spokane River the Spokane Convention Center Expansion site has great history in concert with the environment. Consuming a large portion of the site of Expo '74, the first environmental worlds fair, the Spokane Public Facilities District realized the importance of preserving the history, the river and the environment. Constructing and operating a sustainable building made perfect sense.
The Spokane Convention Center's expansion is one of the first buildings in the greater Spokane area to be awarded with the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating, becoming only the third Convention Center in the United States to achieve this award.
The Spokane Public Facilities District incorporates the Spokane Convention Center, the INB Performing Arts Center and the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena. Instituting "green" practices in day to day operations, the Spokane Public Facilities District Campus is setting the standard and leading the way for "going green".
The Spokane Public Facilities District has adopted an Environmental Policy to operate its venues in an environmentally friendly manner, taking every available opportunity to reduce waste by conserving essential resources, recycling and using recycled materials, and utilizing renewable energy sources whenever possible. Procedures have been developed and communicated in various ways to engage all employees, clients and guests in participating in our sustainable practices.
The Spokane Convention Center Expansion is built on a "brownfield" (contaminated) site. Rehabilitation of the site included removal of contaminated soils and debris, soil and water testing. With the installation of a filtration system for storm water discharge it allows for the separation of "clean" roof runoff and the treatment of the runoff from pollutant-generating drivable surfaces before they reach the river.
The commitment to recycling started during construction. 75% of the overall non-hazardous construction debris was either salvaged or recycled. In return, more than 50% of the products used in the construction of the center were regional materials coming from within a 500-mile radius of the project, reducing fuel required and emissions released during transportation.
The Spokane Convention Center established a "green" cleaning policy to reduce exposure to potentially hazardous chemical contaminants that adversely impact air quality or impede building occupants' well-being. Cleaning products that meet Green Seal standard GS-37 and low VOC compounds are used throughout the campus. All products meet EPA standards with high post-consumer recycled content. Disposable cleaning cloths have been replaced with reusable cloths to reduce paper use and waste.
The Spokane Convention Center is committed to recycling – both in public and service areas. Recycling containers are located throughout the facility for paper, plastic and aluminum. Cardboard, newspapers, pallets and other back-of-house materials are bundled and recycled. Left over materials from events are collected and then re-used and/or recycled. Generic signage, decorations and display materials are offered to planners for re-use opportunities.
The abundance of natural light decreases the need for lighting and thus, reduces electrical needs. Temperature and lighting are kept at minimal levels on non-event days and motion sensors control lighting in intermittently used spaces.
Centerplate, the exclusive food and beverage provider, is committed to being "green". China and silver are set with reusable cloth table linens. Water is served on request and by the pitcher. Condiments are served bulk style and the local fare is purchased from nearby farms and businesses whenever available. Excess food and beverage left over from events is donated to local shelters and soup kitchens.
The Spokane Convention Center Campus has implemented a full food-waste composting program. All food waste accumulated during preparation through after dining, such as coffee filters and grounds, are composted. One way we work towards a better environment is by partnering with a company that uses a two-way, dual-haul system to reduce our carbon footprint.
The Convention Center Expansion is powered 100 percent with "green power" and has established a relationship with Avista Utilities to provide ongoing energy audits and recommendations. Installation of energy saving HVAC systems, programmable temperature control and lighting devices has reduced energy consumption by 40%, saving over $100,000 annually. The Energy Star, heat reflective roof helps cut cooling costs in the summer months and heating cost in the winter. Placing two levels of parking beneath the exhibit hall reduces the heat island effect.
Indigenous, drought resistant landscaping was incorporated into the design to conserve water. Flow control devices, low-flow and waterless fixtures along with a concerted effort by staff completes the plan to reduce overall water use.
Using low-fume emitting paints, carpets, adhesives and composite woods throughout the Center provides a healthy environment for our employees and guests. The air handling systems were sealed and filtered during installation with a full building flush of fresh air after construction was complete. A permanent monitoring system for carbon dioxide concentrations insures the safety and comfort of our users.
An intention has been made on purchasing products and materials that are recyclable, made of recycled content and help reduce waste. When equipment is replaced, Energy Star rated products are purchased and local suppliers are used whenever possible. Products are purchased packaged in bulk with recycled materials cutting down on waste and disposal. Sharing equipment amongst the three District venues (the Spokane Convention Center, the INB Performing Arts Center and the Spokane Arena) eliminates multiple purchases and greater waste.
The indoor air quality is monitored for carbon dioxide concentrations to insure safety and comfort for our guests. The Washington State Clean Air Act prohibits smoking within twenty-five feet of any entrance to the Spokane Convention Center. Attendees are encouraged to use water bottles to drink local water supplied by the Spokane Aquifer, the sole source of drinking water for the 500,000 people in our region. Not only is the water pure but it has a clean, refreshing taste.
All events at the Spokane Convention Center will benefit from the overall green initiatives listed above. Knowledgeable staff is available to consult with meeting planners wanting to conduct their meetings in a green manner. Educational information is available for planners, exhibitors and attendees.
Located in the heart of Downtown Spokane, the Spokane Convention Center encourages low-impact transportation which reduces energy and emissions. The Center provides easy access to mass transportation, bike trails and pedestrian walkways. Lodging, shopping, dining and entertainment are within walking distance. With Riverfront Park and the Centennial Trail at your fingertips, many enjoy the use of alternative transportation. Easy access to bus lines, ample bicycle storage and airport shuttles make the Lilac City easy to move around in.
Every effort is made to reduce paper consumption by doing business via email or phone. When printing is necessary printing on both sides of the paper is encouraged. Multi-purpose office equipment (all-in-one fax, printer, scanner, copier) has been purchased that will use less energy and space. A paper recycling container is located at each employee's desk and in the work rooms.
Marketing and event planning guides are located on the Spokane Convention Center website and available for download eliminating the cost and paper use of printed materials. The Planner's Packet is also available on CD by request.
On-site LCD monitors scattered throughout the campus are used for event information and directional signage, reducing the need for printed signs.