“Platinum is the New Green”

VisitPittsburgh to Promote David L. Lawrence Convention Center’s New Platinum LEED Certification

PITTSBURGH – "If you want to have a green meeting, all you have to do is show up at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center." This marketing tagline used by VisitPittsburgh since the DLCC opened in 2003 just took on a brighter shade of green.

Officials from the David L. Lawrence Convention Center announced today that the building earned a new Platinum certification under the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance rating system of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Platinum is the highest level of LEED certification available through the USGBC.

This enviable status provides Pittsburgh with a competitive advantage for booking meetings and conventions. "We could not be more thrilled," said Craig Davis, president and CEO of VisitPittsburgh, about the DLCC’s Platinum status. "Our customers increasingly are seeking out green meeting venues and the one-of-a-kind Platinum status continues to position Pittsburgh as a leader in the green movement and in the green meetings industry."

Between 2006 and 2011, more than 110 groups booked meetings and conventions at the DLCC with the green element cited as one of the deciding factors. Mr. Davis noted that groups booking the convention center because of its environmentally sustainable qualities are no longer just green organizations, but mainstream. "It's permeating every industry, across every sector," he said, noting that The White House selected the DLCC to host the G20 Summit in 2009 specifically because of the building’s Gold LEED certification.

In addition, newly passed environmentally sustainable meeting standards – created by the Convention Industry Council – have established a common benchmark for environmental performance in meetings and events for meeting planners and supplier sectors. The dual Gold and Platinum LEED certification of the DLCC demonstrates that not only does the building itself meet high environmentally sustainable criteria, but it operates in a highly sustainable fashion.

The DLCC is the first convention center to achieve Platinum certification under the Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance rating system – and is the first convention center in the United States to have both "New Construction" and "Existing Building" certifications. "We were the world's first green convention center and now we can say that we are the greenest convention center in the United States," said Davis.

Moving forward, VisitPittsburgh will incorporate the DLCC's Platinum designation into its advertising campaigns and will tout the accolade at trade shows where it exhibits to promote Pittsburgh as a meeting and convention destination. In addition, VisitPittsburgh will also promote the DLCC's Platinum status through an aggressive public relations strategy to the meetings and conventions trade press.

"This provides yet another excellent opportunity to demonstrate Pittsburgh's environmental transformation," said Mr. Davis. "The meetings and convention industry will take note of this, and it will serve as yet another arrow in VisitPittsburgh's arsenal of accolades that we are proud to promote."

In addition to the Platinum certification announcement, the DLCC's new 20,000-square-foot green roof will be programmable event space – another attribute that contributes to the sustainable commitment of the building. "Potential clients are going to simply love this outdoor space for functions," said Mr. Davis. "And, VisitPittsburgh will love marketing it, too."