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ADVANCE Discourse: Lab

Going Green at AACC

Published July 20, 2009 7:37 PM by Kelly Graham

It may be true that the term “going green” has turned into quite the trite cliché, but that doesn’t make environmentally aware practices any less important.

For an event as huge as the AACC Annual Meeting and Clinical Lab Expo, eliminating waste and being environmentally conscious can be a challenge—but small efforts can have major impacts. This year, conference program and exhibit guides, CLN Convention Dailies and promotional materials are all printed on 30 percent recycled paper, and the conference tote bag that all attendees receive is made of 51 percent recycled fabric (of course, the benefits of these bags extends far past the few days we’re using them at the meeting—keep yours in your car and take it with you when you go grocery shopping to reduce your plastic bag use).

The badge holders will also be recycled at the end of the show, and AACC carefully used more trunks than cardboard boxes to ship supplies to the convention center. The AACC staff will also use china instead of disposable dining materials.

Even better, McCormick Place Convention Center is a Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED®) Certified Green Building. LEED is the system used by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to design and construct energy efficient buildings. According to the convention center’s press release, a few features that led to this certification include:

• One of Chicago’s largest green roofs, covering approximately 150,000 square feet.

• A 3,100 foot long storm water tunnel, located 150 feet below grade, which will divert approximately 55 million gallons of storm water into Lake Michigan every year.

• A highly efficient irrigation system consisting of timed sprinklers, moisture sensors, and drip irrigation tubes, reducing the use of potable water for landscape irrigation by 50 percent.

• A well-insulated building envelope, energy efficient mechanical systems, and lighting, which will reduce the energy cost of the building by more than 20 percent.

• Materials with high-recycled content, including steel, gypsum board and acoustic ceiling tiles.

• Building materials (more than 20 percent) that were extracted and manufactured within 500 miles of the building site, thereby supporting local economies and reducing the environmental impact resulting from long-distance transportation.

McCormick Place will also help the AACC in its green efforts by recycling exhibiting companies’ discarded packing materials and making it easy for exhibitors and attendees alike to recycle throughout the facility. We encourage everyone attending the conference to play their role by recycling and reducing the waste they produce and help the AACC and McCormick Place Convention Center achieve their green goals.

posted by Kelly Graham

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