David L. Lawrence Convention Center

David L. Lawrence Convention Center

Project Information

USGBC Project ID: 10000055

Project Type: Assembly


1000 Fort Duquesne Blvd.

Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Project Details

Building Size (sq. ft.): 1,486,000

Project Website: http://www.pittsburghcc.com/

As the first green convention center in the world, this riverside building with a dramatic roofline set a high bar for others to follow. Green is intrinsic to its design, construction and ongoing operation. The DLCC's graywater system reuses 50% of the building's water and saves five million gallons annually. Through use of daylight and natural ventilation, the amount of energy the convention center saves is equal to the electricity consumed by 1,900 households, or over $500,000 annually.

For a more in-depth look at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, see its project case study here.  


The DLCC was constructed with public money.

In the News


LEED Green Building Features

Sustainable Sites

The building's downtown location allows for quick access to hotels and other conveniences for visitors. Because it reuses a downtown site, the building is accessible by transportation alternatives to automobiles and is served by existing infrastructure. Incorporating public spaces and art into the design contributes to the continual rejuvenation of Greater Pittsburgh's urban core. Adjacent to public transportation: The building is located within 200 ft. of a bus station and within 400 ft. of a train station. Additionally, two public bus lines are located within 50 ft. of the Center. Showers and racks for bicyclists: Bicycle slots are provided for over one-third of regular building occupants. The building uses highly reflective material to reduce heat islands. Exterior lighting was minimized. The Convention Center is located on a former brownfield site. Redevelopment of the site involved removing 6 underground storage fuel storage tanks and a buried asbestos pipe, as well as cleaning soil affected by a gasoline leak on an adjacent site. Over 16% of building occupants will be provided with carpool or vanpool preferred parking. At least 50% of parking spaces are underground or covered by structured parking to minimize land used for parking and to reduce urban heat island effect.

Water Efficiency

Graywater system recycles water for use in toilets and urinals. The water is conditioned by an aerobic digestion and submicron filtration system. The effluent is totally colorless and odorless. With final ultraviolet light treatment, the effluent has been treated for everything but viruses. The system recycles 50 percent of the Center's water and saves an estimated 6.4 million gallons annually. The water reclamation system will reduce potable water use by over 75 percent. Indigenous landscaping uses no potable water for irrigation The Convention Center taps Pittsburgh's "fourth river," the aquifer that runs beneath Downtown, providing makeup water for the Center's refrigeration system cooling towers, reducing the demand for water from the city water system. Pulsed-power treatment of the cooling tower water to eliminate bacteria without chemicals further reduces the demand for city water. An estimated 1.8 million gallons of water is saved annually by this design. Water saving features saves enough water to supply 132 Pittsburgh households for a year. Based on PWSA water utility bills, DLCC has reduced annual potable water demand in the range of 54 _77% over the last several years.

Energy & Atmosphere

Extensive computer modeling resulted in energy savings 35.6% when compared to an ASHRAE/IESNA 90.1-1999 base model. Exterior lighting is designed to reduce night time light pollution. This means less environmental disruption for urban wildlife and migrating birds. Green power is being considered. Light sensors and controls will reduce energy consumption. Daylighting features include clerestory windows where the walls and roof meet and long, 6-foot-wide ribbon skylights which cover 10 percent of the roof area. Exhibition halls can be lit entirely through skylights and windows. Daylighting design provides natural light for 75% of the Convention Center's exhibition space and saves 9.5 million kWh of energy a year. Use of natural ventilation in a building this size, combined with extensive daylighting is projected to use about 35% less energy compared to a conventionally designed building. This is equal to the electricity consumed by 1,900 Pittsburgh households. The cost savings are projected to be 3.8 million kWh of energy, or over half a million dollars annually.

Materials & Resources

Recycling program recycles corrugated cardboard, paper, glass, plastic and metal. The materials used to construct the building have recycled content and were mostly manufactured within a 500-mile radius of Pittsburgh. In demolishing the old convention center, 98% of the waste was recycled by crushing it into fill for this and other sites, converting would-be-debris into a useful material. (mrc2) In total, over 60,000 tons of construction, demolition, and land-clearing waste (92.46%) were diverted to uses other than landfill. The demolition company was able to increase their revenues by selling clean fill for $4.75-$5.25/ton, and some of the fill was used on-site. The suspended roof provides a column free space for the exhibit halls that would require about 40% more steel if it were conventionally constructed with trusses. The post-consumer recycled content in the steel, aluminum and drywall amounts to a minimum of 12.8% of the total building materials.

Indoor Environmental Quality

The architect's specs for this building called for low- or no-VOC content, ensuring Center visitors a comfortable, healthy experience while here. Low-emitting materials include adhesives, sealants, interior paints, and coatings. Daylighting and views maximized in public areas. It features an ongoing CO2 monitoring system. Permanent entryway systems are in place to capture dirt, particulates, etc. at all high volume entryways. At least 50 percent of regular occupants in non-perimeter areas have individual controls for airflow, temperature, and lighting. To create natural cross ventilation, the Convention Center takes advantage of the chimney effect created by the sweeping roof and of convection currents from Allegheny River flowing next to the building. Specially designed janitors' closets include exhaust fans to maintain safe air quality for workers and guests.

Awareness & Education



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