Saturday, August 26, 2023
A new roofing system on the Morial Convention Center won’t just save money, but will help save energy too.
The $40 million “cool roof” is already reducing heat absorption by 67%.
Adam Straight is the COO and says they started down a sustainable journey a few years ago, and they’ve made significant investments within their central plan to replace chillers, boilers, and LED lights throughout the facility.
That sustainability plan has made this the largest convention center project in the U.S. that’s LEED certified.
Initiatives like recycling gravel from the existing roof into parking lots and installing EV charging stations have helped achieve that certification.
But the cool roof is helping all of us by reflecting away heat that would typically be absorbed by the pavement and buildings downtown.
Adam says the new system will dramatically decrease the urban heat island effect within that portion of New Orleans. The urban heat island effect is the retention of heat by the cityscape due to its lack of green space and proliferation of asphalt and concrete.
Sustainability is a core principle of the entire half-a-billion-dollar convention center improvement plan.
Straight says they’re trying to push their sustainable mission outward to the community, and hoping that everyone will jump on board too.
One final note about the environmental friendliness of the new roof.
When it rains, 90% of the water will be directly diverted into the Mississippi River instead of the city storm drains which can quickly become overrun in heavy rain events.