The Charleston Coliseum & Convention Center (CCCC) received LEED Silver certification by the U.S. Green Building Council on Feb. 29, 2020. It is the largest public building in West Virginia to be LEED-certified. The project earned 50 points, including 3 Innovation in Design credits and 3 Regional Priority credits, using LEED for New Construction version 2009.  This achievement is significant for Charleston because it helps the city compete regionally with other convention centers: there is demand for LEED certified convention facilities nationwide.

When ZMM Architects and Engineers approached Watkins Design Works with the opportunity to perform LEED consulting services, they had estimated achieving 44 points, enough for the first level of certification, and the City of Charleston’s goal. By working closely with ZMM’s architects and engineers, general contractor BBL Carlton, and with convention center staff, Watkins Design Works helped the project achieve an additional 6 points and Silver Certification. 

The building will use over 45% less water and save over 25% in energy costs than a baseline building of this type, which saves both taxpayer money and natural resources.

Over 86% of demolition and construction waste (nearly 5,600 tons) was diverted from the landfill and recycled.

The building has good indoor air quality, many building materials contain recycled content, and over 85% of the existing structure was reused, saving material and delivery costs.

We developed a custom LEED spreadsheet which was used to track points during the final documentation process. The rating system comprises five main design categories: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy & Atmosphere, Materials & Resources, and Indoor Environmental Quality. Every project is different, so the points achieved in each category vary widely. The total number of points can also depend on where the project is located, so achieving Regional Priority Credits (RPC’s) becomes a key focus. Since the CCCC is located on an urban site, the project garnered RPC’s for construction waste management, building reuse, and water use reduction.

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The project was also awarded three innovation credits: increased water use reduction and recycled content of materials beyond LEED requirements, plus the addition of a LEED Accredited Professional on the design-build team.

The U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED green building program is the preeminent program for the design, construction, maintenance, and operations of high-performance green buildings. LEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, is a green building certification program that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices. Learn more at