As part of the LEED process, the Colorado Convention Center made significant reductions in energy usage, as well as gains in the area of sustainable purchasing, green cleaning, building occupant comfort, improved air quality and waste diversion. The implementation of the USGBC standards translates to millions of dollars saved in operating costs for the City of Denver, an over 26% reduction in carbon emissions, and further enhances Denver’s reputation as a healthy and desirable destination for conventions and events. In a recent Watkins study, meeting planners rated the Colorado Convention Center as the 3rd greenest center in the nation.

“LEED certification confirms the Colorado Convention Center’s national leadership in sustainable operations,” said Mayor John Hickenlooper. “It is an objective standard that illustrates Denver’s progress in becoming a more sustainable city to millions of visitors each year.”

“The recent renovation and expansion of the Colorado Convention Center created a truly magnificent space for millions of visitors every year,” said John Adams, General Manager of the Colorado Convention Center. “With this certification, we continue the intention to create the most healthy and enjoyable experience for all who visit Denver and for all who live in the Denver metro area.”

“The national Watkins study of meeting planners found that when everything else is equal, four out of ten conference planners say they will choose the ‘greenest’ city for their convention. That makes the LEED certification an important marketing tool in selling Denver for future meetings,” said Richard Scharf, president & CEO of VISIT DENVER, the Convention & Visitors Bureau.

LEED is an independent, non-profit, third-party rating system established by the United States Green Building Council that seeks to recognize & reward buildings that have taken a comprehensive approach to sustainability. The LEED rating system is completely voluntary and consensus-based, incorporating both established industry principles and innovative environmental technology. LEED Certification for existing buildings is gained by satisfying stringent efficiency requirements in the areas of building operations and maintenance.

Following an expansion in 2004 that doubled its size, the Colorado Convention Center began implementing sustainable practices, with policies aimed at increasing energy efficiency, conserving water, reducing waste and assisting meeting and event planners with reducing the environmental impact of their conferences and events. In 2008, CCC became the first convention center to hire a Director of Sustainability, Lindsay Smith, who partnered with Boulder’s UHG Consulting in 2009 to help spearhead the 18 month application process to attain LEED-EB.

“When we first made the decision to pursue LEED certification, the Colorado Convention Center was already well-known within the industry for our sustainable initiatives,” said Lindsay Smith, Colorado Convention Center Sustainable Programs Manager. “The LEED certification process was a valuable tool that helped us define our sustainability programs with the intention to increase our building efficiency, reduce our environmental impact, raise awareness amongst stakeholders, and benefit the local Denver community.”

“We are pleased to spearhead this successful LEED application process for the Colorado Convention Center team,” said Darren Johnston, Principal at sustainability consulting firm UHG. “Through a collaborative effort we were able to effect significant environmental and economic gains, and make the facility a more comfortable, healthy place for employees and visitors in the process.”

The 2.2 million-square-foot Colorado Convention Center, located in the heart of downtown Denver, offers a 584,000 square foot exhibit level that can be divided into six individual halls. In addition, 63 meeting rooms together total 100,000 square feet, with 85,000 square feet of hotel quality ballroom space also available. The 5,000 seat multi-functional Wells Fargo Theatre can be used as a lecture hall, general session area for conventions and tradeshows, or a concert hall for national headline entertainers.

About Colorado Convention Center
Owned by the City of Denver and managed by leading venue management firm SMG, the Colorado Convention Center is one of the most practical and user-friendly meeting facilities ever built. More than 100 professional meeting planners worked with the architects to design every aspect of the building. The result is a simple, sensible, state-of-the-art facility with easy traffic flow and everything needed to run a successful event, all in a stunningly beautiful building in the heart of downtown Denver. The Colorado Convention Center is committed to hosting conferences and events that consider the triple bottom line of economics, environment, and community. For more information on the Colorado Convention Center, visit

About UHG
Boulder, Colorado-based UHG Consulting is a full service sustainability consulting firm specializing in design, administration and support of sustainability initiatives ranging from waste reduction to LEED certification. UHG’s services include LEED consulting, Property Audits, Energy Audits, Waste Audits, Project Management, and Green Building.