DAVID L LAWRENCE CONVENTION CENTER
The David L. Lawrence Convention Center is an exceptional facility which draws many visitors from around the country. Architect Rafael Vinoly designed the building to be tailored to the City of Pittsburgh, with features that balance both aesthetic quality and operational efficiency.
The Convention Center graces the City skyline with a design inspired by the great bridges of Pittsburgh. It was the first convention center in the United States built with a strong commitment to environmental principles such as natural lighting and ventilation, water reclamation, and recycling.
In November 2003, the Convention Center received a Gold LEED for New Construction Certification from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). At the time, it was the largest green building in the world. In May 2012, the Convention Center received a Platinum certification under the LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance rating system. It is the first convention center to achieve this ranking, and is also the first to earn certifications under two separate LEED rating systems.
||Rafael Vinoly Architects, P.C.
||Turner Construction/P. J. Dick/ATS
|Total Square Footage:
||1,450,000 square feet
|Total Exhibition Space:
||330,0000 square feet
|Column Free, Main Hall:
||250,000 square feet
||80,000 square feet
|Lecture Halls (250 seat):
||31,610 square feet
||12,000 square feet
The Convention Center has
several distinguishing features, including:
Pittsburgh's philanthropic community played a major role in the Convention Center's development. The following foundations supported the design element of the building by funding a $750,000 design competition.
- Heinz Endowments
- Hillman Foundation
- Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation
- Buhl Foundation
- Richard King Mellon Foundation
- Anonymous source
In February of 1999, Rafael Vinoly Architects was selected by the Southwestern Pennsylvania Convention Center Design Commission. Construction on the building began in February of 2000.
To ensure the environmental integrity of the building, the Heinz Endowments provided a $4 million grant to the Green Building Alliance and another $3 million loan to the SEA for the cost of green technologies which helped the Convention Center earn the Gold LEED Certification.
Dollar Bank was the first corporation to provide a major sponsorship to the Convention Center. Founded in 1855 and headquartered in Pittsburgh, this financial institution is a federally chartered mutual savings bank with offices throughout Southwest Pennsylvania and Northeast Ohio.
In 2003, the SEA entered into a twenty-year agreement with Dollar Bank for the naming rights to the Convention Center's Grand Ballroom, which is the largest ballroom in the City of Pittsburgh. With almost 32,000 square feet of space, the Grand Ballroom is capable of seating over 2,500 people banquet style. After holding a regional naming competition, Dollar Bank named this new ballroom "The Spirit of Pittsburgh Ballroom."
In addition to the financial institution's monetary contribution, Dollar Bank, through the work of Dymun + Company, Pittsburgh Filmmakers, RPC Video, Inc., PMI, and The Sextant Group developed and installed a "Regional Showcase" using a high definition, multi-media format. This showcase presents the region's history and culture as well as its people, resources and amenities. Installations are located in four sections of the building:
- First floor east and west lobbies
- Third floor south entrance
- Ballroom pre-function space
Constellation Energy Resources, LLC an Exelon Company, is the manager of the chilled water plant and the waste water treatment plant in the Convention Center. The waste water treatment plant collects and treats all waste water from sanitary potable uses. The water is then recycled throughout the building for toilet flushing.
In the twenty-year term of the sponsorship agreement, which began in 2003, the riverfront terrace became known as Noresco Riverside Terrace. The terrace runs the entire 600-foot length of the third floor and faces the Allegheny River. This area is a popular site for event programming and receptions.
Additional Sponsorship Information
If you or your company are interested in learning more about the David L. Lawrence Convention Center sponsorship campaign, please contact the SEA at (412) 393-0200.
The Convention Center is managed and operated for the SEA by SMG, a Pennsylvania company that specializes in the management of convention centers. The General Manager of the Convention Center is Mark Leahy.
For more information please visit the Convention Center website.
Food and catering services are provided exclusively for the Convention Center by Levy Premium Foodservice Limited Partnership, an Illinois limited partnership.
For more information please visit the website for Levy Restaurants.
The integration of public art was an important component for the Convention Center. A $2 million Public Art Program was created to maximize community involvement and to facilitate the selection of artists. The purpose of the program was to select artists whose work compliments the unique design of the Convention Center, diversifies the public art forum, and reflects the historic role of art and architecture in Pittsburgh.
This program was made possible through the generous support of local foundations. Please see Public Art at the Convention Center for more information.
During the construction of the Convention Center, the SEA established an art committee to guide the process for commissioning and acquiring artworks. The committee was responsible for developing the plans, issuing calls for artists/artworks, reviewing proposals, and selecting the artists/artworks.
In 2012, a new art committee was established to advise the SEA on items related to the existing public art collection. The committee is responsible for reviewing and making recommendations to the SEA Board regarding gifted artworks, maintenance of existing artworks, and commissioning or acquiring new artworks.
Green Building Features
Pittsburgh's Convention Center is the first and largest environmentally friendly building of its kind. In November 2003, the facility received a Gold LEED Certification from the United States Green Building Council (USBGC) and became the largest green building in the United States.
In May 2012, the Convention Center received a Platinum certification under the LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance rating system. It is the first convention center to achieve this ranking, and is also the first to earn certifications under two separate LEED rating systems.
Pittsburgh is one of the “greenest” cities in the nation. When the Convention Center was first built, Pittsburgh had four LEED projects totaling over 2.4 million square feet. The Convention Center comprised nearly 60% of the city's total green buildings. As of 2012, there are 39 LEED certified buildings in Pittsburgh, and the city is ranked 8th in the nation for the number of LEED certified buildings.
Because of its commitment to environmental practices, the Convention Center is a leader in the green event industry, generating revenues for both the facility and the region. Green-seeking conventions have brought $176 million dollars in direct spending to the Pittsburgh region from 2006 through 2011, representing 26% of all direct spending generated by the Convention Center.
No other convention center in the country incorporates so many green technologies. The Convention Center's unique building features include:
- Natural lighting
- Natural ventilation
- Water reclamation
- Comprehensive recycling program
- Sustainable site, materials, and resources
- Indoor environmental quality
The Convention Center keeps more than 56% of its event waste out of landfills through recycling, composting, and donating usable materials. It also uses 29% less energy than the average entertainment sector building, and offsets 100% of the carbon emissions generated by its energy use.
In relation to water usage, less than one-third of the Convention Center’s water use comes from municipal sources. In 2011, the amount of recycled water that went through its wastewater treatment plant could fill over 4 Olympic-size swimming pools.
Green Report and greenfirst website
The SEA prepares an annual Green Report, which details the sustainable features and operation of the building. Click here to read the latest report. Additional information on how the center operates green is also available on the greenfirst website.
In November 2011, the Convention Center completed a two-year case study process that provided financial justification for building performance, facility management, occupant satisfaction, and organizational sustainability. The study was the first of its kind and had three goals:
- Understand the ROI and develop the business case for the building’s high performance design and for ongoing operational initiatives,
- Leverage LEED-EBOM as a tool to refocus the Convention Center’s commitment to sustainability and to establish innovative thought leadership and capitalize on market recognition, and
- Research industry best practices and performance to benchmark progress against internal goals and external standards.
A thorough set of analyses contributed to the findings, including quantitative and qualitative assessments on systems including: energy, natural ventilation, water, site, transportation, waste, purchasing, commissioning, and occupant comfort. The research team also went beyond typical post- occupancy metrics to examine corporate culture, organization learning, stakeholder perceptions and marketing initiatives related to sustainability. The project was coordinated by the Green Building Alliance and funded by the Heinz Endowments, with support from the SEA. The case study team included: evolve environment::architecture, CJL Engineering, the Center for Building Performance and Diagnostics as CMU, and Civil and Environmental Consultants.
This study impacted the facility, the operating organizations, and the convention industry as a whole. The original green design has been successfully leveraged into corporate culture, operations, and marketing strategy, resulting in over $400,000 in energy savings annually. In addition, the initial investment in green building features generated over $12 million dollars in revenue from “green seeking” events to the Convention Center (from 2006 through 2010) and $143 million in direct spending to local businesses.
The case study also provided recommendations for improvement in energy efficiency. Several of the recommendations have already been implemented. Click here to read the full report.
South Terrace Green Roof
The South Terrace Green Roof, which opened in May 2012, operates as both a programmable, outdoor event space and an important component of the Convention Center's environmental initiatives. Click here to view the press release. When the 20,000 square foot roof was built, 73% of the former roof materials were recycled or donated, and 60% of purchased materials met sustainable requirements.
The South Terrace Green Roof is evidence of the Convention Center's commitment to environmentally-conscious practices. Green roofs store up to 80% of rainfall during a storm, lessening the burden on municipal drainage systems. In addition, it is estimated that the plants on the South Terrace Green Roof will remove 680 pounds of particulate matter pollution from the air each year—an amount equal to the annual air pollution generated by 255 cars.
The urban heat island effect (the disproportionate increase in summer temperatures in densely developed areas as a result of conventional asphalt and concrete materials heating in the sun) will be reduced due to its white pavers, which are made of a high-SRI (solar reflective index) material, and the plants themselves, through the natural evapotranspiration processes. Studies show that on the hottest of Pittsburgh days, a green roof remains fifty degrees cooler than a conventional roof.
The roof contains several types of horticulture, including species native to Southwestern Pennsylvania, which help restore and protect natural habitat, and Sedum species, which are non-invasive, hardy, adaptive species used on many green roofs.
One of the most unique features about the green roof is that it is programmable, rentable space. If you would like to rent the space for your event, please contact Debbie Smucker at 412-325-6174 or email@example.com.
The DLCC has retail space available on the first floor located along Penn Avenue between 10th and 11th Streets. The retail space encompasses approximately 5,000 sq ft, and is comprised of two larger spaces and two smaller spaces suitable for offices, with entrances available from Penn Avenue. Click here to view the floor plan. For additional information, please contact the SEA at (412) 393-0200.
Events and Parking
Please visit the Convention Center website for upcoming events.
The Convention Center includes a 715 space garage. Entrances to the garage are located on 10th Street and 11th Street. The garage is managed and operated by ALCO Parking Corporation. For current parking rates for the garage, please visit the Convention Center Parking Garage.
For leases contact: Alco Parking Corporation 412-323-4455.
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