Monona Terrace Earns LEED Silver Certification as a Green Convention Center

Wednesday, August 22, 2007 - 9:21am

Madison - Mayor Dave Cieslewicz announced today that Monona Terrace has become one of only a handful of convention centers in the nation to be LEED-certified as a green building. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a national program of the U.S. Green Building Council that sets the benchmark for high performance "green" buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work.

"Today's news strengthens Madison's position as a national leader as a sustainable city," said Mayor Cieslewicz. "Obtaining this certification is good for the environment, and is also good for business. It will give Monona Terrace a competitive advantage in attracting the growing number of organizations committed to sustainable business practices."

The investments required to obtain LEED certification were about $111,000. Monona Terrace has already booked eight additional conventions and conferences as a result of its seeking LEED-EB certification according to the Greater Madison Convention and Visitor's Bureau. The economic impact from these conventions and conferences is estimated to be about $292,000, already creating a payback of almost 3 to 1, not counting operational savings.

Monona Terrace earned a "silver" certification under the LEED program for existing buildings (LEED-EB). It is the first existing convention center in the nation to earn the silver level of certification. Highlights of Monona Terrace's sustainable design include:

• Use of non-toxic "green cleaning" products which benefit the health of the environment as well as the health of Monona Terrace employees and users.
• Significant energy savings: Monona Terrace uses 49% less energy than convention centers across the country with comparable weather.
• Use of clean energy: 10% of Monona Terrace's purchased energy in 2007 is renewable with a goal of 25% in 2008.
• High recycling rates: revamped recycling practices have more than doubled Monona Terrace's recycling rate to 49%.

"This has been a challenging project," said Monona Terrace Director Jim Hess. "We started the process with our application in November of 2005, and it has taken a team effort to get it accomplished. We are extremely proud of this achievement for our city and for our clients."

"Monona Terrace is a beacon of Madison's transformation to a leading green capital city," said Sherrie Gruder, chair of Madison's Sustainable Design and Energy Committee. "Earning a LEED third party certification on such a public building is a powerful demonstration of sustainability for the community and beyond and has had an immediate and measurable impact on the building's performance. The leadership, ingenuity and dedication of Monona Terrace's director and staff have been tremendous."

The LEED certification for Monona Terrace is part of a broader city government initiative to improve the sustainability and energy efficiency of all of its buildings. This year, the mayor created a new Facilities and Sustainability Manager to coordinate that process. Madison is also a leader in the Natural Step program, which is a framework for integrating sustainability into all of city government's operations.

Assisting with the LEED certification project were MGE, Focus on Energy, Michael Schmidt of Arnold & O'Sheridan, Sherrie Gruder of the UW-Extension Solid and Hazardous Waste Education Center, Green Valley Disposal, Michael Arny and The Leonardo Academy, Monette McGuire in the City Comptrollers office and Jeff Griffith and Connie Thompson from the Monona Terrace staff.

  • George Twigg, Mayor's Office, (608) 266-4611
  • Bill Zeinemann, Monona Terrace, (608) 261-4000