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Cobo Center recognized as a leader in sustainable building

Cobo Center received the EcoWorks Sustainable Communities Champion award, which honors leaders in energy efficiency and sustainable building practices in Southeast Michigan.


During the annual EcoWorks breakfast Sept. 19, Cobo Center, along with three other agencies leading the Detroit area in sustainability practices, was designated a champion for aligning with the EcoWorks mission of large-scale innovative education, training, consulting, social business and advocacy in the sustainable use of energy natural resources.

“Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority (DRCFA) has helped to set an example for what we can accomplish when we unite as a region. The renovation of Cobo Center helps secure its position as a symbol of Detroit, but that alone wouldn’t garner an award. In addition to the regional cooperation and the great greening work that they did, they have shared the story with clients, conference attendees and our region. The Cobo Center hosts ‘temporary communities’ if you will, leaders from many fields come to the center for a brief time of learning. And now each of those communities experiences what green renovation can do,” explained a spokesman for EcoWorks.

ECN 102014_MDW_Cobo Center wins sustainability award_group shotThe Cobo Center Green Committee was formed in 2011 to develop green event support and achieve green certifications for the center. Cobo became the largest Green Venues Michigan facility in 2012.

Now in the final phase of a $279 million renovation, building features like a living green roof, Kone EcoMod energy saving escalators and elevators, dock enclosures, induction lighting that uses 40 percent energy in all exhibit halls, and new energy-saving HVAC units are already in place.

“We are very proud of this recognition from EcoWorks and the Detroit area sustainability network.
However, Cobo Center is not content to rest on what has been accomplished. Our Green Committee is moving very quickly to rapidly increase our waste diversion rate, implement a kitchen waste composting program and apply for other green certifications that will establish Cobo as an industry leader,” said Thom Connors, regional vice president, SMG, and general manager, Cobo Center.

With 723,000 square feet of exhibit space, Cobo Center boasts one of the largest contiguous exhibit floor spaces in North America and is the 19th largest convention center in the country.

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