A popular convention center upgrades with its second vegetated roof
Roof Retrofit Features
Meadow Meeting Space
NAMED FOR A FORMER PITTSBURGH MAYOR
AND ARDENT ENVIRONMENTALIST, THE DAVID L.
LAWRENCE CONVENTION CENTER has always been
an eco-conscious facility – at 1.5 million square feet, it was the
world’s largest LEED-certified building when it earned Gold
certification upon its 2003 opening. The rooftop gardens crowning its North Terrace receive abundant sunlight, making them a
great place for the 1,200 square feet of planters with organically
grown heirloom vegetables maintained by Levy Restaurants, the
convention center’s food service provider.
But the Sports & Exhibition Authority of Pittsburgh and
Allegheny County (SEA), which owns the convention center,
didn’t stop there. The
organization is committed
to continually improving
the building’s sustainable
performance, so in 2011,
a combination extensive and intensive green
roof was installed on the
Terrace. The winding path
of blue glass pavers evokes
a calming river. Nearby, a
plaza provides a space to
The garden features more
than 20 species of plants,
The South Terrace green roof replaced a field of artificial turf
and insulation, which was donated and repurposed. The concrete
roof deck was then covered with tapered polyiso insulation, a 115-
mil PVC membrane and coverboard, according to manufacturer
Carlisle, which supplied the membrane, adhesive and a combina-
tion drainage mat that also serves as a filter, protective fabric and
moisture retention media. The garden is estimated to absorb up to
80% of the rainwater from an average rainfall event, greatly less-
ening the stormwater runoff leaving the site.
Improve the environmental friendliness of an
existing convention center and add event space.
The 22,400-square-foot south terrace now hosts an accessible
roof garden where meetings and receptions can be held.