David L. Lawrence Convention Center

Located on the shoreline of the Allegheny River, Pittsburgh’s downtown convention center is a showcase for sustainable architecture. At its grand opening, it was the first LEED certified convention center in the world.


When architect Rafael Viñoly was commissioned to design Pittsburgh’s new convention center, the project was guided from conception by his goal to create a world class green building. “Architecture is a dialogue with the forces of life. As a major form of social intervention, its essential responsibility is to elevate the public realm,” says Viñoly. Wilmot Inc. was contracted to play a pivotal role in making the project’s goals a reality.

The Wilmot team quantified materials produced at the convention center site to design a comprehensive program of recycling and reuse during the construction process. To measure the cost effectiveness of recycling, Wilmot tested the potential and overall effectiveness of a large-scale C&D debris-recycling program. The testing included savings projections on local, community and state levels. By using crushed concrete along the riverbank at the site, the project re-claimed a significant amount of C&D debris.

Wilmot’s successful intervention measures helped make the David L. Lawrence Center the first convention center in the world to attain a Gold LEED rating.