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The Miami Beach Convention Center (MBCC) underwent a $620-million transformation in 2018. Now it’s a reimagined state-of-the-art meetings and conventions facility with nearly 500,000 square feet of exhibit space and a 60,000-square-foot ballroom. Sustainability was a major consideration in the new design. The MBCC continues to implement new green initiatives into all aspects of its operations as part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) program.

“Our venue partner teams, led by our OVG360 venue management team, are putting more effort than ever into establishing sustainable practices in every aspect of our events and meetings here at the MBCC,” said Freddie Peterson, General Manager of the MBCC. “We collaborate closely with our clients and contractor partners to establish and promote environmentally friendly measures and improvements.”

Meeting planners can be confident that when they host an event at the MBCC, they are helping maintain and contribute to a green Miami Beach.

sail detail at MBCC
Sustainability was built into the design, like these sun-shading fins

Silver LEED® Certification

The teams that led the renovation project – Fentress Architects and Arquitectonica – worked together to incorporate eco-conscious features. This was “by design,” as the building codes in the City of Miami Beach require United States Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Silver certification for all new public projects. They used recycled materials and, in turn, recycled more than 90 percent of the construction waste generated.

In order to increase water efficiency, reduced-flow flush fixtures and faucets were installed. This alone saves about 115,00 gallons of water per year.

Another important factor in obtaining LEED certification is reducing energy consumption. The iconic “fins” along the perimeter of the building help achieve this goal by providing shade to reduce the temperature inside. The venue also utilizes high-efficiency LED lights in meeting rooms and ballrooms, with sensors that shut off lights when rooms are unoccupied. These design choices result in a 20 percent reduction in energy usage.

With these (and other) features in place, it was no surprise that the MBCC received Silver LEED® certification in 2020.

Pride Park and MBCC
Hundreds of trees and native plants surround the MBCC, creating a refreshing and environmentally friendly meeting destination

Surrounding Green Space

By moving parking from surface lots to the rooftop, the redesign added approximately nine acres of green spaces to the MBCC campus, including the 5.8-acre Pride Park to the west of the facility and the 2.8-acre Collins Park to the north. The surrounding landscape is lush, with a canopy of more than 1,300 new trees and 100 existing trees that were conserved. These green spaces reduce the “heat island” effect. Right next to the MBCC, the Miami Beach Botanical Garden adds even more beautiful green space to the area.

These spots, while beneficial for the environment, are also an amazing amenity for meeting attendees and local residents who now have more places to take a moment to recharge in nature.

Conserving Natural Resources, Reducing Waste, and Recycling

The MBCC is committed to sustainable practices such as reducing landfill waste. In support of the City of Miami Beach’s plastic-free campaign, the site uses single-stream recycling to prevent paper, plastic, cardboard and aluminum cans from ending up in landfills. Water bottle refill stations are also available throughout the center.

One of the biggest opportunities to conserve resources is in food and beverage service operations. The MBCC’s exclusive food and beverage partner, Sodexo Live!, is committed to sustainability. All service ware used onsite is eco-friendly. Sodexo Live! works with Compost For Live (C4L) to collect and compost organic food waste. This new program was launched at the Aspen Ideas: Climate Summit, which was held at the MBCC in May 2022. Sodexo Live! also donates unused prepared food to local organizations. This helps those in need while preventing unused food from reaching landfills.

The MBCC has launched the Conventions C.A.R.E. (Community Assistance by Responsible Events) program. Recognizing that many materials and products are left behind after large conventions and meetings, this program allows event organizers to donate items to local nonprofit organizations for reuse. This benefits for the local community while helping the environment.

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