evolveEA Study Culminates in LEED EB Platinum Certification at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center
The region’s investment in a green convention center is paying off. Pittsburgh-based consulting firm, evolveEA performed a ground-breaking study to evaluate the David L. Lawrence Convention Center’s (DLCC) operations, marking the first time a prominent LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certified building has undergone a comprehensive evaluation for green operations, which has culminated in the facility becoming the first LEED Platinum convention center certified under the Existing Buildings Operations and Maintenance rating system.
Christine Mondor, Principal at evolveEA says “This study illustrates that the DLCC, one of the greenest convention centers in the world, is an excellent example of a building whose smart design leverages efficient operations. It is also a great story of what can be achieved by an operations team that looks for constant improvement.”
evolveEA and its team investigated the convention center’s performance, not only as a physical building, but as a functioning organization. To do this, the team benchmarked the DLCC against other convention centers, and provided recommendations to improve operations and leverage marketing opportunities. The study highlighted that over $12 million in DLCC revenues from 2006 to 2010 came from green-seeking events. These same events brought approximately $144 million in direct spending to the Pittsburgh region. In addition to added business, the convention center’s design and how it has been operated has allowed it to save over $2-million in energy costs since 2005, compared to a conventional venue of its size.
As evidenced by the approximately 50 facilities that have achieved or are pursuing LEED certification, convention centers and event destinations are prioritizing sustainability as they begin to understand the marketing and cost saving implications of sustainable operations. In 2003, the DLCC catalyzed the green building movement in the convention industry, becoming the first LEED Gold Convention Center. Now, as a result of this study, the DLCC has reaffirmed its leadership after nearly a decade of operations.
Selected from a field of 25 national firms, evolveEA led a project team comprised of CJL Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University’s Center for Building Performance and Diagnostics, and Civil and Environmental Consultants. By analyzing energy consumption, water use, airflow, purchasing, waste management, transportation, marketing, and occupant behavior and satisfaction, the team identified opportunities to make improvements that will continue to generate financial savings, marketing value, and business growth.
Stephen Hockley, evolveEA project manager says “This study represents a truly compelling business case for pursuing sustainability. It shows that no matter the business model, an organization can do well by doing good.”
To learn more about the project and evolveEA’s role, visit evolveEA.com/work/dlcc.