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David Lawrence Convention Center Green Roof

Pittsburgh, PA

Built in 2003, the David L. Lawrence Convention Center was the world’s first green convention center and was awarded the Gold LEED® certification for a new building. Thanks in part to a newly installed 20,000 square foot green roof the convention center is now Platinum LEED® certified for an existing building.

Surrounded by windows, the South Terrace space serves as a flexible event area while showcasing the benefits of green roofs. A plaza allows space to set up for large banquets yet is still intimate to entertain small groups. The dynamic yet simplistic design sets the urban mood and helps highlight the existing sculptural cable bundles that hold the iconic sweeping roof in place.

The rigid structure is softened by a meandering blue pathway that divides a native meadow from a low growing sedum planting. Made with recycled glass blasted pavers, the path reflects the nearby Allegheny River and speaks to the stormwater benefits of green roofs, which help reduce polluted runoff from entering waterways.

The plants were selected for their hardiness and drought resistance and the pavers have a high solar reflectance index (SRI) in order to reduce temperatures. Since installation, the roof has shown to retain up to 80 percent of stormwater and remain up to 50 degrees cooler on hot summer days.