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February 7, 2017

Convention Space News: Javits Expansion Moves Forward, Sustainability in Hawaii

A big step for the expansion of New York’s Javits Center and new sustainability initiatives at the Hawaii Convention Center lead this week’s convention space news in the meetings industry.

javits center expansion

Empire State Development, New York’s economic development agency, has moved forward with the planned $1.5 billion expansion to the Javits Center in Manhattan with the selection of the project’s design-build team. The organization has selected LendLease Turner as the design-build team that will coordinate and construct the massive project on Manhattan's West Side.

The panel's recommendation was approved by the Board of Directors of the New York Convention Center Development Corporation, a subsidiary of Empire State Development that owns the convention center's property and oversees major construction work at the facility. The project is expected to generate $393 million in new annual economic activity, reduce area traffic congestion and increase the efficiency of Javits Center operations to allow for new and expanded events, according to a statement by Empire State Development. 

The winning proposal calls for new exhibit and meeting room spaces, as well as the construction of an on-site truck marshaling, loading and storage facility that will relocate 20,000 event-related trucks off area streets each year, which project officials say will improve traffic and pedestrian safety. In total, officials estimate the project will reduce the move-in and move-out process for events by 30 percent. 

In addition to the truck marshaling facility, the winning plan also calls for the addition of 90,000 square feet of permanent exhibit space that will be combined with the existing exhibit space to great an exhibition hall spanning approximately 500,000 square feet. The expansion will also add 45,000 square feet of meeting room space, as well as a 55,000 square foot ballroom, billed as the largest of its kind in the New York region. On the roof, the project will add a terrace and pavilion that can accommodate up to 1,500 attendees for outdoor events. Other additions include 27 new loading docks, new kitchen and food service areas, new back-of-house and administrative space and a LEED Silver certification. 

The first phase of work, which will ready the site for the expansion, has begun, including critical utility work and the construction of a new three-story building that will house transformers, back-up generators and other electrical equipment needed for the expanded convention center. This first phase was the result of a Request for Proposals issued in September 2016, and following a thorough procurement process, Tishman Construction, an AECOM Company, was selected to oversee this work.

The project also builds on the building’s recent renovation, which included the installation of new façade, flooring, mechanical and sustainability systems, as well as a 6.75-acre green roof that has become a sanctuary for area wildlife. 

Visit www.esd.ny.gov

hawaii convention center
Photo by dkclack/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

In sustainability news, the Hawaii Convention Center (HCC) has announced that the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) 2016 World Conservation Congress received the distinguished ISO 20121 certification for sustainability, as this prestigious event was hosted in the United States for the first time at the Hawaii meeting facility.

ISO 20121 is a management system standard that has been designed to help organizations in the events industry improve the sustainability of their event related activities, products and services. ISO 20121 is based on the earlier British Standard called ‘BS 8901 Specification for a Sustainability Management System for Events’ which was first developed in 2007.

More than 8,000 delegates from around the world gathered in Hawaii, September 1-10, 2016, for the global conference. The HCC team researched the procedures and secured the appropriate materials for use by IUCN delegates at the Congress, as well as researched local farmers who grow foods in compliance with IUCN’s guidelines that could be served during the events.

Among the local food providers HCC was able to collaborate with during IUCN were J. Ludovico Farms for free range chickens, Ho Farms for tomatoes, long beans and butternut squash, Aloun Farms for peppers, melons, and onions, Tropic Fish sourced from the Honolulu Fish Auction, Paniolo Beef, Pono Pork and Armstrong Produce for a variety of other locally grown ingredients.

In addition to the food and beverage requirements of IUCN, there were other operational requirements HCC needed to deliver on which are highlighted as follows:

  • HCC successfully partnered in a pilot program for composting for IUCN requiring the center to properly divert its waste back into the Earth and to animal feed.
  • All food and beverage disposable service ware were compostable.
  • Only glass bottles and aluminum cans were sold at concessions.
  • Vending machines selling plastic bottles and snacks with waste packaging were not available.
  • To reduce waste and encourage re-use containers, HCC installed new bottle filler dispensers at the water fountains. Five units were available on the lobby and meeting room levels.
  • For IUCN’s opening reception, the water used in containers to hold down the chef's tents were recycled for irrigation and cleaning.
  • Volunteer monitors were staged at many locations to educate guests on composting and recycling in Hawaii.
  • All materials available to Congress attendees were composted or recycled. Existing trash/recycle receptacles were re-labeled accordingly and designed for IUCN.
  • All materials used for the unique cardboard exhibits were recycled or repurposed.

Visit www.iso20121.org

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