Home E-City At the Summit: New Convention Center Leads with Green Initiatives

At the Summit: New Convention Center Leads with Green Initiatives

Seattle is well known as the Emerald City, but not simply for the color that emanates from our natural surroundings. Seattle is renowned for its green initiatives, and its new Summit, Seattle Convention Center’s new facility, follows in that legacy.  

Like much of downtown Seattle, the Summit is heated by steam from a plant that uses waste wood as fuel. About 60 percent of this steam energy is created by wood supplied from construction sites, sawmills, factory crates and shipping pallets that would otherwise rot in a landfill.

The new construction has used long-life, toxin-free, porcelain tile, Greengard and NFS-certified solid surfacing material, and low VOC paints, paneling and trim. 

LED light installations save over 3,000,000 kilowatt hours annually, the equivalent of 337 households. 

The Summit employs enhanced sustainable cleaning operations with an energy efficient, battery-operated HEPA carpet sweeper that maintains the building while managing air quality.

Opened to national groups in January 2023, the new building expects to achieve at least LEED Gold certification—and will pursue Platinum certification if funding allows for additional solar panels. 

Summit has also achieved Salmon-Safe certification, a peer-reviewed program that certifies and monitors projects to improve their benefits to the environment, particularly around restoring urban watersheds.  

Even before its doors had opened, the Summit building won vision awards for sustainability. The building’s design prioritizes efficiency, connections with the surrounding neighborhoods, open and engaging public spaces, and a unique experience that embodies Seattle’s special qualities. 

5 Ways Summit is Making a Difference

• Summit’s interior incorporates sustainably sourced, recyclable, and recycled materials. 

• Reclaimed wood from a former building on the same site was milled and used for railings. 

• Summit’s 14,000 sq. ft. Garden Terrace helps reduce the heat island effect of the urban area.  

• Rainwater is filtered and used for landscaping irrigation as well as toilet flushing. 

• Radiant heat flooring absorbs heat from the sun to aid in warming the building. 

Getting There Is Also Smart

• SEA Airport was the first in North America to earn certification for reducing carbon emissions. 

• Electric-powered Link light rail connects SEA Airport to downtown Seattle.