JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - The city of Jackson announced a "first" Wednesday.
The Jackson Convention Complex is Jackson's first building to be "LEED" (Leadership in Energy and Environment) certified. That means it was built to be environmentally friendly, and the U.S. Green Building Council has given it's stamp of approval.
The convention center is built to use utilities as efficiently as possible, and uses environmentally friendly cleaning products and materials.
The cost of becoming LEED certified was roughly $562,000, about one percent of the cost to build the convention complex.
But the developer said going green will pay for itself in 10 years.
While the convention complex doesn't generate enough money to pay for itself because operating costs are so high, it's partially funded by a hotel and restaurant tax. Linda McCarthy, general manager for the Jackson Convention Complex, said that's typical of convention centers across the country.
"Convention centers aren't built to make money, convention centers are built as catalysts to bring people to the city of Jackson," said McCarthy.
According to McCarthy, the convention center had a $22 million impact on the city in 2009.
McCarthy said being LEED certified has been a selling point to bring conventions to the city.
"There are convention and meeting planners that look to buildings that are environmentally friendly before they consider bringing a convention to a city. It give us a leg up on our competition," said McCarthy.
Other green projects include the McCoy federal building and the new federal courthouse.
©2010 WLBT. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.