AUSTIN, Texas – The Palmer Events Center has been awarded LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the most widely used green building rating system in the world and an international symbol of excellence. Through design, construction and operations practices that improve environmental and human health, LEED-certified buildings are helping to make the world more sustainable.
Previously garnering a Silver certification, the building’s green activities have earned Gold certification by achieving positive outcomes for energy performance, efficient energy operations, water use reduction, responsible materials selection and waste management, and enhanced indoor environmental quality.
“We are extremely proud to be recognized as a Gold level LEED-certified project at the Palmer Events Center (PEC),” said Trisha Tatro, Interim Director, Austin Convention Center Department. “This reflects our staff’s hard work and commitment to our environmental programs and whole-building approach. This is proof that PEC is going above and beyond to ensure that the space is operated to the highest level of sustainability.”
Issued by the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED designations are given to buildings that excel in environmental efficiency and resource conservation. At a maximum of every three years, a building must recertify its LEED rating by scoring and achieving sustainability performance marks in categories such as energy, water, waste, transportation and human experience.
“This was the first recertification for the Palmer Events Center that has grown from Silver to LEED Gold certification,” said Camala Jones, Environmental Program Coordinator at the Austin Convention Center Department. “We are constantly working on our sustainability, water efficiency, energy and indoor environmental quality for our staff and visitors.”
According to USGBC, LEED buildings are linked to improved productivity, health, and wellness as well as a space that provides clean and high-quality indoor air for employees and occupants.
One hundred percent of all the electrical power to the Palmer Events Center and the Austin Convention Center is supplied by Austin Energy’s GreenChoice program, generated by wind turbines.
Thirty-five percent of all waste generated at the Palmer Events Center is diverted from landfills through the building’s comprehensive recycling, reuse and composting program.
Located at 900 Barton Springs Road, the Palmer Events Center offers two column-free exhibit halls, equaling 70,000 square feet and 50,000 square feet of covered outdoor canopies.
The history of the site dates to 1940 when the City of Austin purchased an airplane hangar on the south shores of Town Lake. The hanger was then converted to an all-purpose City Coliseum that opened in 1949.
In 1959, Palmer Auditorium, known as the Municipal Auditorium, opened. In 1981, the City of Austin rededicated the auditorium to be named the Lester E. Palmer Auditorium in honor of his service as an Austin Council Member and as the Mayor of Austin (1961-67). A 1998 bond election, led to the Town Lake Park development, the building of the current Palmer Events Center, opening in 2002, and the parking garage.
The Palmer Events Center’s design resembles a “Pavilion in the Park,” and the gently asymmetrical sloping roof forms a generous wrap-around porch, making additional outdoor event space.
The venue, with an adjacent 4-story, 1,200-space parking garage, is within a three-mile radius of 11,000 hotel rooms in downtown Austin. The Palmer Events Center is one of two convention and meeting facilities operated by the Austin Convention Center Department.
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