The city of Pittsburgh has been a front-runner of LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, since the program’s inception back in 1998. The LEED system helps to rank green buildings in the terms of their design and construction in order to make new buildings more energy efficient and sustainable. There are currently over 7,000 LEED certified buildings across the United States, with over 100 in the city of Pittsburgh alone.
Three of the first ten LEED projects took place in Pittsburgh. One of these projects, the David L. Lawrence Convention center, is also the largest LEED certified project in the world. The 1.5 million square foot building has received both gold and platinum LEED certification, and is also the world’s first convention center to have LEED certification. This convention center has hosted over 2,100 events and over 4.3 million visitors since its opening in 2002, and has become a staple of the Pittsburgh skyline along the Allegheny River.
Currently, over 75% of new buildings being built in Pittsburgh are aiming for LEED certification. This includes the Tower at PNC Plaza, which will be opening in 2015. This thirty story architectural marvel will be the newest addition to the rising Pittsburgh skyline, and will be the world’s tallest sky-rise green building.
The rise of green building and LEED Design in the city of Pittsburgh may be a new idea, but it’s a vision that looks to leave a lasting impression on our city. With numerous projects currently being built under LEED certification standards in Pittsburgh, the city hopes to soon become one of the greenest cities in the world.
How could Pittsburgh's green building revolution influence other cities across America in their future planning?
Credits: Images by Greg Shermeto. Data linked to sources.