By Dani Sheehan.
The Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana is the sixth largest convention center in the nation. In 2018 a roof replacement project began to replace the 1.9 million square feet of traditional roofing with a more energy-efficient system. Construction is scheduled to finish by mid-2024 and is part of a $557 million capital improvement plan.
Other projects with this plan include the development of a 7.5-acre pedestrian park, upgrades to meeting rooms, restrooms and technology throughout the building, as well as retrofitting of exhibit hall lighting.
In a recent press release, Michael J. Sawaya, Convention Center president and CEO explains, “We are taking a comprehensive approach to enhancing and transforming our massive facilities in order to elevate the visitor experience and reduce our environmental footprint.” The project features a cool roof system with a polyurethane foam insulation to maximize efficiency and a highly reflective coating will divert heat from the building to help keep internal temperatures stable. One news interview by WDSU claims that the heat absorption has already been reduced by 67% and the project is not yet complete. This heat reduction will greatly decrease the urban heat island effect in that part of the city, helping to make up for the lack of green space in downtown New Orleans’ concrete jungle.
The decision for the roof replacement will help maintain the building’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification status and it will hold up against the extreme weather in the area. An initiative to recycle the old roofing material is further testament to their sustainability goals. Close to 1,600 tons of rocks have been saved from landfills and instead the previous roof has been reused in parking lots throughout the city. The new design even considers rainwater runoff. With the new roofing system, up to 90 percent of water when it rains will be directed into the Mississippi River, relieving the city’s drainage system during heavy storms.
Photo source: mccno.com
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Dani is a writer for the Coffee Shops and AskARoofer™. When she's not writing or researching, she's training for trail races and working on her yoga teaching certification.
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