LEED and GreenSeal Certified Venues

One of the easiest ways to lessen the environmental impact of an event is to host it at a green venue. Buildings that have achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification have demonstrated a commitment to reducing energy and water consumption, using sustainable building materials, and having a high level of indoor environmental quality. LEED buildings also inherently offer recycling and tend to offer multiple transit benefits, from mass transit to preferred parking for carpoolers and alternative fuel vehicles.

GreenSeal certification is available for hotel venues that implement a rigorous sustainability program. GreenSeal is a non-profit organization committed to environmental standard setting, product certification, and public education. Their certification for venues makes sure ongoing operations continue to follow sustainability guidelines, addressing waste, energy, water, procurement, and indoor air quality. Selecting a venue that is either LEED or GreenSeal certified is an easy way to know you are already reducing your event’s environmental impact.

Ellis Square
25 Barnard Street
Savannah, Georgia 31401
City of Savannah Leisure Service Director’s Office
Phone: 912-351-3837

Ellis Square offers an entire city block of exterior space with full service bathrooms, stunning fountains, and lush landscaping. Parking is ample as the square is situated on 1000 underground parking spaces. Ellis can be rented out per the City of Savannah’s square rental policy.

Southwest Library Branch
2000 Abercorn Street
Savannah, Georgia 31414
Phone: 912-652-3603

The Southwest Library Branch is located at the Savannah Mall and features ample parking, an auditorium that can hold 100 people seated or 300 standing. Available to nonprofit organizations, the library is an extremely cost-effective, green option for events. It features water efficient fixtures, energy efficient lighting and HVAC, and low-emitting finishes. Parking is available adjacent to the Library and in the mall parking lots, with preferred spaces for carpoolers and hybrid vehicles.

Sustainable Fellwood
1300 Bay Street
Savannah, Georgia 31401
Phone: 912-544-0190

Sustainable Fellwood (a LEED for Neighborhood Development project) offers space – both in the community centers as well as the four-acre central park, allowing for events ranging from small parties to large outdoor celebrations.

Richmond Hill City Center
520 Cedar Street
Richmond Hill, Georgia 31324
Phone: 912-445-0043

Situated only 12 miles south of Savannah in a 335 acre historic wetlands park with three mile trails, Richmond Hill City Center is a LEED-Certified meeting facility with 22,800 sf of flexible space that can accommodate groups up to 350. Included is a 3,977 sf ballroom, break-out rooms, and open spaces both indoors and outdoors. Meeting packages include refreshments, meals, conference technology and planners.

Westin Savannah Harbour Golf Resort & Spa
1 Resort Drive
Savannah, Georgia 31421
Phone: 912-201-2219

The Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort and Spa has achieved a Silver Level certification from GreenSeal, the only hotel in Savannah to have done so. Also, the Club at Savannah Harbor has achieved Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Certification, which is administered by Audubon International for success in environmental stewardship.

The Westin offers a Green Meetings program which includes sustainable and local menus, food donation at conclusion of events, eProposals and digital contracts and signage, and bulk condiments and water. Low-flow faucets, CFL bulbs, energy-management systems, single-stream recycling program, effluent water used at golf course, drip irrigation for grounds, used cooking oil recycling, and elimination of Styrofoam are all additional eco-features of the Westin Savannah Harbor. From intimate events to corporate functions, The Westin offers indoor function space totaling 18,000 sf and virtually unlimited outdoor function spaces.

Other Non-LEED Venues

Since LEED is still a relatively new concept in Savannah and few options are available, here are a host of locations that have begun to incorporate sustainable features, either into their design or their ongoing maintenance. Obviously, it is easier to plan a green event if, for example, recycling is already available at the venue. Though not LEED certified, the following locations offer a variety of different green attributes to make planning your green event a bit easier.

Bamboo Farm & Coastal Gardens
2 Canebrake Road
Savannah, Georgia 31419
Phone: 912-921-5460

Bamboo Farm & Coastal Gardens is a 50-acre University of Georgia Cooperative Extension education and demonstration center. Rent their conference center, which includes a large meeting room with seating for 75 – 100, pull-down projection screen, internet connection, handicapped-accessible restrooms, and full kitchen and food prep area. Other facilities for rent include a cottage, butterfly garden and gazebo area, a lakeside pavilion that accommodates more than 300 people, educational classrooms, and group picnic grounds.

Charles H. Morris Center
10 East Broad Street
Savannah, Georgia 31401
Phone: 912-443-3277

The Charles H. Morris Center is a multifunctional space that can handle not only conventional meeting space needs, but can also handle any multimedia needs as well. These include configurations for multiple projection units/screens, wireless broadband Internet access, and boundless audio capabilities. The Morris Center has the large central event space (3,600 sf / 300 person seated occupancy), an adjoining outdoor tented space

(2,400 sf), a full catering kitchen and prep space (900 sf), and an adjacent meeting/flex space (800 sf). Green features include on-site recycling/composting, waterless urinals, pervious parking, and energy efficient lighting and HVAC.

City of Tybee
Tybee Island City Hall
403 Butler Avenue
Tybee Island, Georgia 31328
Phone: 912-786-4573

The City of Tybee has worked hard to achieve bronze level certification with the Partnership for a Sustainable Georgia. The City offers several properties available for public use, including the Historic Guardhouse, Gymnasium, Memorial Park, gazebo at Jaycee Park, and River’s End Campground & RV Park. Most facilities offer recycling, and several are undergoing green renovations to cut energy and water consumption. Visit the City website for more information.

Savannah International Trade and Convention Center
One International Drive
Hutchinson Island
P.O. Box 248
Savannah, Georgia 31402
Phone: 912-447-4000

The largest venue available, the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center is a 330,000 sf waterfront complex on the Savannah River and features 100,000 sf of divisible exhibit space, 50,000 sf of prime meeting space, including 13 meeting rooms, four executive boardrooms, a 25,000 sf Grand Ballroom, and a state-of-art auditorium that seats 367 people.

Green features include access to the water ferry (two-minute ride to downtown), high efficiency HVAC, motion sensors, on-site recycling, HEPA air filtration, and GreenSeal cleaning products. Additionally, the Trade Center is undergoing further green retrofits in the near future to incorporate additional insulation, waterless urinals, rainwater capture, lighting retrofits, and a commitment to reduce energy consumption 10% annually.

SEED Eco Lounge
39 Montgomery Street
Savannah, Georgia 31401
Phone: 912-349-5100

An eco-friendly bar that used environmentally friendly products during design and construction, including bamboo bar tops, low VOC paints, cork flooring, and reclaimed steel. Bathroom doors and cocktail tables are made from the wood of an old barn in Statesboro. Even the cushions that line seating areas are made with recycled materials. SEED works to conserve water and electricity and carries organic beer, liquor, and wines. They also use 100% corn compostable to-go cups and straws, and napkins made from recycled content.

The Sentient Bean
13 East Park Avenue
Savannah, Georgia 31401

All bookings are handled through the website. Please do not call. Organic, fair trade and home made food, drinks, art, and entertainment, the Sentient Bean offers all that and more. Already loaded with reusable plates and glassware, the venue has on-site recycling and a sustainable mentality permeates every square foot. Used as seating during the day, it is easily transformed into a comfortable and semi-professional performance space.

During shows, the coffee house offers light meals, fresh baked goods, as well as coffee, tea, smoothies, etc. Crowds are typically sized at 20 to 70 people.

35 Barnard Street, Suite 300
Savannah, Georgia 31401
Phone: 912-544-1200

ThincSavannah is located on the third floor of 35 Barnard Street. Originally designed as shared office space, the location features a large space for events of up to 100 people or smaller, segmented areas for as few as 10. The space features locally produced, sustainable furniture from Structured Green, and is adjacent to the 1000 parking spaced of Ellis Square.

Outdoor Event Sites

Nothing says ‘green’ like putting your guests directly in touch with the great outdoors! Outdoor venues can lower the overall impact of a soiree. For one thing, there is much less embodied energy since there are less materials overall. It also fosters an appreciation of nature in guests that are able to truly see, touch and feel the experience. To be fair, there are drawbacks, such as inclement weather, the need to bring in restroom facilities and lighting, etc, but many times the reward will well outweigh the added risks.

Savannah Parks and Squares

(Forsyth, Daffin, and the squares)
City of Savannah Leisure Service Director’s Office
Phone: 912-351-3837

The City of Savannah’s Parks and Squares can be rented for various special events. From intimate gatherings in a square to an event for many hundreds in Forsyth Park, Savannah’s ample greenspaces offer a variety of options for outdoor events and soirees.

Skidaway Island State Park
52 Diamond Causeway
Savannah, Georgia 31411
Phone: 912-598-2300

Located near historic Savannah, this park borders Skidaway narrows, a part of Georgia’s intracoastal waterway. The park provides camping and picnicking surrounded by Spanish moss-draped live oaks. Trails wind through maritime forest and over salt marsh allowing visitors to watch for deer, fiddler crabs, raccoon, egrets, and migrating birds such as colorful painted buntings. For events, groups can use the enclosed shelter, located in day use area. The shelter has heat/ac, separate kitchen, tables and chairs to accommodate 150, and barbecue and oyster cooking shed adjacent to the building. Also has volleyball courts and restrooms. All group gatherings must conclude by 9:45 pm.

Tybee Beach/Pier
Chatham County Recreation Department
Phone: 912-652-6780

Located just off U.S. Highway 80 at the end of Tybrisa Street. Besides its spectacular view and great fishing location, it is also a meeting place used for dances, musical performances and special events. On the premises are picnic tables, snack bar, and public restrooms. Open daily. Free admission.The pavilion can be rented for weddings, family reunions, and other social functions.