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George R. Brown Convention Center Wins First-Ever LEED Gold Certification


HOUSTON, Texas (June 23, 2022) – Houston First Corp. is continuing to lead the charge in sustainability as the George R. Brown Convention Center recently achieved its first ever LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

This year marks a tremendous milestone for the GRB as the 35-year-old building is not being recognized for its construction and design, but its sustainability, maintenance, and operations’ efforts. According to the U.S. Green Building Council’s database, the GRB is only one of two Texas’ convention centers to currently hold a LEED Gold certification.

“Houston First’s industry-leading entertainment and convention venues are constantly evolving to exceed expectation, and to be one of the few to have obtained this special certification is evidence of that,” Houston First Corp. President and CEO Michael Heckman said. “This latest accolade further solidifies our commitment to healthy and sustainable practices for all of our guests and visitors, who will be a part of a greater objective. One that will improve our community and protect our future overall.”

Previously achieving LEED Silver in 2011 and recertification in 2017, the George R. Brown Convention Center (GRB) was critiqued in areas, including energy conservation, waste reduction, indoor air quality improvement, and water conservation for this year’s certification. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system recognizes buildings that excel in sustainability through construction, design, and operational practices that improve environmental and human health.

Houston First staff have implemented various processes to decrease the facility’s carbon footprint, some of which encourage GRB guests to make more sustainable choices, such as utilizing compostable utensils or refillable water bottle stations, and learning about the venue’s hydro garden program, which spotlight the environmental impact of sourcing local produce. 

In addition to greener facility methods, Houston First also works with local non-profits, such as Second Servings, who assists with delivering unserved food from GRB events to more than 90 local shelters, soup kitchens, and charities. Some of the donated items are also repurposed or redistributed as materials for art and construction projects.

“Transforming our buildings and spaces happens one project at a time. The George R. Brown Convention Center understands the value of LEED and has shown extraordinary leadership in reshaping the market,” U.S. Green Building Council President and CEO Peter Templeton said. “The success of LEED is due to the partnership and support of those committed to advancing green building and sustainability. Each new LEED certification brings us one step closer to revolutionizing the spaces where we live, learn, work, and play.”




About Houston First

Houston First is the official destination management organization for the city of Houston. In addition, Houston First owns the Hilton Americas-Houston hotel, manages the George R. Brown Convention Center along with 10 city-owned properties and developed the Avenida Houston entertainment district.


About the U.S. Green Building Council

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is committed to a healthy, resilient and equitable future for all through the development of green buildings, cities and communities. For more than 20 years, USGBC has been advancing green building practices through the development of LEED, the world’s most widely used green building program. With the support of thousands of members, volunteers and partners, USGBC provides robust green building education courses, a rigorous professional credentialing program, and advocates for effective public policies. It convenes an international network of green building and sustainability leaders through the annual Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, and forward thinking programs, including the Center for Green Schools. For more information, visit and connect on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.