Austin Convention Center

500 e. cesar chavez street


Awarded LEED GOLD for Existing Buildings | November 2011

The Austin Convention Center (ACC) is the first convention center in Austin, Texas to achieve LEED Gold certification under the LEED for Existing Buildings rating system. ACC is conveniently located in the heart of Austin, Texas' capital, in the downtown area between the shores of Lady Bird Lake and the historic District Sixth Street. It provides visitor access to a variety of entertainment and cultural options within walking distance. Constructed in 1992 and expanded in 2002, the convention center stretches over six city blocks and 881,400 gross square feet. It offers 370,957 square feet of meeting space, including 246,097 square feet of column-free exhibit space divisible into five contiguous halls. Ballrooms of all sizes are included in meeting package options. The facility is occupied 365 days a year with 159 full-time employees and approximately 300,000 visitors per year. The LEED project site consisted of the four-story convention center, the ten-story Brazos Street parking garage, and a storm water detention/biological wet pond for a total of 15.83 acres. The building blocks created by LEED certification of the Austin Convention Center will assist ACC in meeting the goals of the Austin Climate Protection Plan and the Austin Resource Recovery's Zero Waste Plan. In addition, this significant achievement provides a road map for other City departments to pursue LEED certification under the Existing Buildings rating system.

Energy Use

The Convention Center established reduction targets, outlined a plan to monitor progression, and introduced a financial investment in energy saving. Staff education is available through energy audit training, allowing employees to learn about potential sustainability improvements for their own homes as well. The Convention Center also implemented a climate change action plan and carbon footprint reduction plan to continuously improve energy performance standards.

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Indoor Water Use

The City of Austin has long-term goals for potable water reduction. Buildings such as the Convention Center set precedent in reaching these goals. Low-flow, water-efficient systems are replaced existing kitchen, lavatory, toilet, and urinal fixtures. Reducing potable water also reduces energy used to treat water supply in domestic water heating.

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Landfill Waste

The Convention Center is committed to continuously divert at least 50% of the total waste stream. The Convention Center also diverts at least 95% of all batteries and fluorescent light bulbs from the landfill. Continuously improving beyond target goals of waste diversion also reduces the greenhouse gas emissions associated with occupancy waste.

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Recycled Material Content

The Convention Center committed to using sustainable purchasing guidelines for at least 50% of all office materials. Sustainable products such as interior paint is not just an environmentally responsible decision, but it also improves the indoor air quality. Sustainable cleaning products are healthier alternatives for staff and occupants.

Sustainable Products


What about shared transportation?

There are 6 Capital Metro lines within 1/4 mile of the building.

Strategies of promoting alternative methods of travel are important design decisions to incorporate into each project because these strategies reduce the carbon emissions associated with vehicular commutes. The ConventionĀ Center reduces vehicular carbon emissions by installing alternative fuel charging spaces and bicycle stalls, promoting carpool and telecommute programs, and locating the center within walking distance of Capital Metro routes.

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Lighting Controls

Zones of occupancy controls maximize comfort rates for daily users. Indoor environmental comfort also increases the productivity rate of full-time employees. Low environmental impact policies further improve the indoor air quality of a building.

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Green Cleaning Credits Received