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Executives of the David L. Lawrence Convention Center (DLCC) said today they are confident that the facility is ready to safely welcome back attendees of conventions, meetings, sports events and public shows in 2021.
PITTSBURGH - The primary reason for confidence and optimism, according to the DLCC representatives, is that the facility has long-standing advantages over other meeting facilities.
“While this has been a horrendous time for our industry and the world, we know that the meetings and events industry will recover, and the David L. Lawrence Convention Center can help lead the way in hosting meetings where attendees feel confident throughout their stay. It is almost as if we were built for this,” said DLCC General Manager Tim Muldoon.
State Senator Wayne Fontana, chairman of the board of the Sports & Exhibition Authority of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County, which owns the building, agrees. “The center holds the highest rating for LEED® Platinum Certification in the U.S., which demonstrates our environmental commitment to the City of Pittsburgh. But it also provides more than 1.5 million feet of meeting and exhibit space, which, due to the column-free exhibit halls, allows an abundance of spacing for meeting planners’ preferences.”
The building’s design provides an even more unique benefit to meeting and event attendees, added Muldoon. “With our sloping roofs, we can boast of a natural air ventilation system, which pulls cool air from the outside without using any mechanical equipment – just dampers and thermostats. This allows natural outside air to be circulated throughout our large event halls. The kinds of air management systems we have at the center are the kinds of systems that can provide the most air turnover and the greatest kind of air management possible to help respond to challenges like COVID-19.
“With the additional mechanical air systems that serve our meeting rooms, outside air also is constantly circulated through the meeting spaces, helping to make attendees feel more confident and comfortable. And, these are our standard positions – this is the way the building was designed from day one. We’re extremely capable of creating a safe environment, as we have been for the last 20 years, and we also will continue to strive to meet and exceed county, state and CDC guidelines.”
The center also is making improvements, too. Currently, the building has minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) filters of 13 and 14 in each its air handlers; the CDC standard is MERV 13. The air exchange rate also has been adjusted, with more outside air flowing into the center to provide increased fresh, healthy air management to meeting rooms and other parts of the building.
The longstanding Indoor Environmental Quality program at the center allows engineers to constantly monitor C02 levels, temperatures, relative humidity and lighting intensities to ensure an optimal and safe learning experience. Additionally, the building is using electrostatic disinfectant sprayers, and, like other ASM Global managed properties, is VenueShield certified.
VenueShield’s comprehensive group of hygiene protocols includes food safety measures, air quality control, service cleaning, physical/social distancing, temperature checks, reduced touch points and daily monitoring systems.
The center remains committed to a healthier environment, operating an on-site water reclamation plant, maintaining a landfill diversion of 60% and providing meeting planners a zero solid wasted event at no additional cost.
“The David L. Lawrence Convention Center has long been one of our top marketing tools as we work to attract meetings and sports events to our city. Its LEED® certification, meeting space and, especially, its column-free exhibit halls deliver meeting planners with many options that other venues can’t offer,” said VisitPITTSBURGH President & CEO Jerad Bachar. “But now with even more emphasis on providing the highest health and safety protocols, the center can provide attendees and visitors an even higher degree of confidence in holding their meeting in Pittsburgh.”
About the David L Lawrence Convention Center
Pittsburgh’s environmentally smart, LEED® Platinum Certified David L. Lawrence Convention Center located in Pittsburgh is owned by the Sports & Exhibition Authority of Allegheny County. This 1.5 million-square-foot facility features 313,000 square feet of exhibit space, 37 loading docks, 53 meeting rooms and a 31,000-square-foot ballroom. The building’s dynamic architectural design is like no other convention center, offering breath-taking views, open terraces and a suspended roof structure.
LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System ™ is a feature-oriented rating system that awards buildings points for satisfying specified green building criteria. The six major environmental categories of review include: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality and Innovation and Design. Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum levels of LEED green building certification are awarded based on the total number of points earned within each LEED category.
Kelli Donahoe, CMP, Director of Sales and Marketing
David L. Lawrence Convention Center