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Boston LEEDership: BCEC

By Alana Spencer, Ani Nene and Katrina Miaoulis
July 25, 2016

The Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (BCEC) was recently certified LEED Silver by the U.S. Green Building Council! This award dubs the facility as one of the largest buildings in New England and among a handful of convention centers in the world to be awarded LEED certification.  Located in the Seaport District of Boston, Vanderweil Engineers led the project with our partner Simpson, Gumpertz & Heger (SGH) though LEED for Existing Buildings Operations and Maintenance (EB O+M) Feasibility Analysis and Certification. Existing buildings that have not been sustainable designed have interesting challenges in order to transform to LEED standards. To add, large public assembly spaces are generally even more so challenging with energy performance and ventilation standards required by LEED. With this in mind, the BCEC’s LEED Silver award is an especially noteworthy accomplishment given that it is a sprawling convention center, nearly 1.8M SF, located in Boston’s cold, coastal climate. 

The certification evaluated the current building operations: mechanical, electrical and plumbing components as well as purchasing, site management, waste management, energy usage and general housekeeping. Energy improvements were evaluated through ASHRAE Energy I + II Audits, which were performed by Vanderweil’s sustainability team. The Audits provided several Energy Conservation Measures that the facility implemented for cost and energy savings.

Sustainability Highlights at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center:

  • Robust recycling program including composting allows for nearly 70% diversion of total waste
  • Community Connectivity through Lawn on D allows for gathering in an outdoor public space
  • 100% of energy consumption is offset through certified RECs and verified carbon offsets
  • Highly accessible to/from public transit for visitors and employees
  • An amazing onsite team: facilities, purchasing, engineering…

The BCEC was recently selected as the venue for Greenbuild in 2017, USGBC’s annual green building conference. Professionals from around the globe will gather in the building that Vanderweil “greened”, which is a great honor.