Sustainable Community

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High Performance / Green Buildings

The Wilmington Convention Center was built in 2010 and received the Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED) Silver certification from the US Green Building Council (USGBC). The center has several sustainability features that consider its environmental and economic impacts, including:

  • redevelopment of a former industrial railroad yard;
  • innovative underground systems that use sand to filter stormwater runoff before it goes into the Cape Fear River;
  • a white roof that reflects the sun and reduces heat gain;
  • water efficient landscaping;
  • special glass that limits heating and cooling loss;
  • plumbing fixtures that use about half the amount of water of traditional fixtures; and
  • Efficient lighting and HVAC systems.

Along with LEED Silver certification, the Center received the Engineering Excellence Companies of NC award. The Center received the award for the overall design of the site, which is specially designed to protect the riverfront ecosystem and minimize the environmental impact while also rehabilitating a former industrial site. More information can be found here:

The city’s "Green" Street Sweeper complex, located at the corner of 17th and Marstellar Streets, was built in 2009 and implements a variety of sustainability features, including:

  • designed for net zero energy consumption over the annual cycle;
  • re-use of property formerly housing the City's operations complex;
  • incorporates passive solar design to help warm the building
  • utilizes a solar photovoltaic array to generate most of its electricity and heat, while also feeding surplus power back to the electric grid;
  • other green features include the reduction of stormwater runoff impacts through use of a bio-retention unit, and adding stormwater treatment and green space;
  • the project was awarded the Significant Achievement Award from the Lower Cape Fear Stewardship Development Awards Program

Fire Station No. 3, located at 114 Cinema Dr., was built in 2015 to replace two former aging fire stations and received LEED Silver certification from the USGBC. The station includes many sustainability features, including:

  • use of native landscaping;
  • energy efficient lighting;
  • regionally sourced and recycled materials;
  • a focus on indoor air quality;
  • solar thermal water heating and radiant slab flooring;
  • and the support of a commissioning agent throughout construction.

Planning for Sustainability

The City works with the community to comprehensively plan for future growth and development. The City’s newly developed Comprehensive Plan was adopted in March 2016. The plan’s overarching focus is building an inclusive community, offering diverse multi-modal transportation options, collaborating regionally, growth emphasizing infill and redevelopment, providing accessible parks and open spaces, and promoting environmental sustainability while fostering opportunities for economic growth.

Environmental Planning guides the city’s wide-ranging focus on the environment. The planning efforts here can range from low-impact development, brownfields initiatives or Coastal Area Management Act (CAMA) planning.

Housing Affordability

The City of Wilmington’s Community Services department manages the affordable housing program, providing education and low-interest loans to encourage homeownership and rehabilitation in the city’s housing stock.

A local non-profit, Wilmington Area Rebuilding Ministry (WARM) organizes volunteers and raises funds to complete safety-related urgent home repairs and accessibility upgrades for low-income homeowners in Brunswick, New Hanover and Pender Counties.

Economic Gardening

The City Manager’s office offers resources for small business support in the City of Wilmington. Click here to learn more.

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