Heather Benjamin
2 minute read

While you're in town for Greenbuild, explore these LEED-certified attractions and green spaces.

Feature image photo credit: Joey Kyber.

Certified under LEED for Cities, the Greenbuild 2019 host city of Atlanta is committed to sustainability and continuous improvement in  buildings, spaces and social equity—and the state of Georgia as a whole currently has over 166 million gross square feet of LEED-certified space.

Here are just a few examples: In 2017, the city council updated an ordinance to include requiring LEED certification for new construction. In 2018, Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, the nation's busiest, became the first airport in the world to be awarded precertification under the LEED for Communities program. In 2019, the city exceeded its energy goals in the Better Buildings Challenge by more than 20%.

As a visitor to Atlanta for Greenbuild, you'll have plenty of opportunities to explore what makes Atlanta a leader in green building.

Greenbuild events and tours

The center of Greenbuild activity is the LEED Gold Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC), where you'll find your education sessions, the Expo Hall and networking events. Don't miss rock band Collective Soul at the LEED Platinum Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which welcomes attendees to the annual Greenbuild Celebration on Nov. 21 from 6-10 p.m.

the LEED Platinum Mercedes-Benz Stadium

The LEED Platinum Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Photo credit: AMB Sports + Entertainment.

Greenbuild tours, which provide continuing education credits, are a window into many of the exciting projects in the area. On Nov. 18 and 22, you can tour Atlanta buildings, schools, neighborhoods and sports venues.

Tour activities like "Cycle Through History" allow you to fit in some exercise while seeing historic Atlanta neighborhoods and learning about social equity issues in the area. Two of the stops on the tour are LEED Gold: the Martin Luther King, Jr. Recreation and Aquatic Center and the Auburn Avenue Research Library.

Green sports stadiums have a strong foothold in Atlanta. Take the "Game Changer" tour to explore Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the LEED Gold State Farm Arena and the LEED Silver SunTrust Park.

Activities and entertainment in Atlanta

A top attraction in Atlanta is the Georgia Aquarium, which strives to be as sustainable as possible. Try the "Yoga by the Water" class on Nov. 19, or visit anytime to see the aquarium's extensive assortment of sea creatures, galleries, tours and shows.

If you're a fan of museums, there are plenty of options. Two are particularly close to the GWCC: the LEED Gold World of Coca-Cola and the LEED Silver College Football Hall of Fame.

For thought-provoking visual art, visit the Museum of Design Atlanta, housed in a LEED Platinum building, which is currently running an exhibition on "The Design of Dissent."

Explore the intersection of the historic American civil rights movement and today's global human rights movements at the LEED Gold National Center for Civil and Human Rights. The center offers a variety of permanent and current exhibits, as well as special events like the discussion on ending homelessness in Atlanta on Nov. 19.

the LEED Gold National Center for Civil and Human Rights

There are great ways to get outside before or after your Greenbuild sessions, too. Centennial Olympic Park is also near the GWCC and boasts 22 acres of green space from its development as a gathering spot during the 1996 Olympic Games. The Atlanta BeltLine project transformed miles of railway into walking and biking paths, with an entry point on East Side Trail near the LEED Gold Ponce City Market.

A winner of several sustainability awards, Ponce City Market is the Atlanta area's largest adaptive reuse project. Part of this mixed-use facility is given to a wide selection of eateries and bars in the Food Hall. Grab some dinner, then stroll along the BeltLine afterward.

For more ideas, check out the map of restaurants committed to sustainability compiled on the Greenbuild website.

Learn more about Greenbuild tours