David Lawrence Convention Center an SMG Managed Facility
Pittsburgh's David L. Lawrence Convention Center is not only a beautiful facility with superior amenities and in-house services, but it is also hailed as the first and largest LEED-certified green convention center in the world. The $375 million convention center, which opened in September 2003, encompasses 7.9 acres on the banks of the Allegheny River in downtown Pittsburgh. Offering 1.5 million square feet of total space and 313,400 square feet of exhibit space, the center prides itself on upholding the highest standards for technology, efficiency, comfort and service.
Named after Lawrence, who served as Pittsburgh's mayor from 1956 to 1959 and Pennsylvania's governor from 1959 to 1963, the convention center's remarkable architecture features a curved stainless steel roofline, walls made completely of windows, circular glass elevators, sprawling terraces and expansive balconies with beautiful riverfront views of the city skyline. Elements of the facility's green design include the use of natural lighting and ventilation; in fact, roughly 75 percent of the exhibition space is lit by natural daylight. The center also utilizes water and energy conservation technology, and leftover food is donated to local food banks.
Among its four floors, the David L. Lawrence Convention Center includes a 31,610-square-foot Spirit of Pittsburgh Ballroom, which features a 32-foot-high ceiling and a unique lighting system of more than 1,200 lights, as well as 53 meeting rooms, two 250-seat lecture halls and a 12,000-square-foot kitchen. All meeting rooms and both lecture halls are equipped with custom phone systems, video conferencing, cutting edge audio-visual features, high-speed Internet access and individually-controlled thermostats and lighting. The center also boasts a 40,000-square-foot fourth floor terrace, perfect for breaks between meetings or outdoor functions.
In-house amenities offered at the convention center include full audio-visual, lighting and telecommunications services, a UPS Store and catering and food services by Levy Restaurants, which uses fresh daily ingredients from the city's specialty groceries district, The Strip. The center's $2 million public art program includes 25 pieces located outside the ballroom and along the third floor corridor. Guests may use the center's 37 loading docks and 750 connected parking spaces, as well as a pedestrian walkway to the Three Rivers Heritage Trail, a 21-mile pedestrian and bicycle trail along the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers. The center is also directly connected to the Westin Convention Center Pittsburgh hotel, which features 39,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, 22 meeting rooms, three restaurants and 616 guest rooms.
The convention center's unparalleled services, architecture and technology all lend to the fact that the center hosts more than 200 events per year. Notable events include the Pittsburgh Home and Garden Show, International Auto Show and Pittsburgh Boat Show. The facility is also the recipient of the 2004 Supreme Award for structure engineering excellence from the Institution of Structural Engineers, as well as an Excellence in Design Award.