Pitt’s 16 LEED certified spaces covering over 1 million square feet of space are listed below. Learn more about Pitt’s green buildings in design and construction above under “Design & Constrction”.
LEED Certified Buildings at Pitt
The University of Pittsburgh is committed to incorporating sustainability into all aspects of campus life, including with our built environment. As a result, Pitt has 16 building projects with third-party green building certification to-date — and we pursue LEED certification or better on all new construction and major renovation projects as part of the Pitt Sustainability Plan.
What is LEED Certification?
An acronym for “Leadership in Energy and Environment Design,” LEED is a green building rating system created by the U.S. Green Building Council in 1998 that helped transform the built environment globally while providing third-party validation of building design, construction, operations, and maintenance. LEED is the world’s leading green building certification and is focused on all aspects of the built environment, including site, location, energy, water, indoor environmental quality, materials, and innovation.
Pitt Projects in Design or Construction
All major renovation and new construction building projects at Pitt pursue LEED certification or better. Learn more below about Pitt projects in design and construction pursuing LEED and Passive House designations.
The following Pitt projects are currently pursing LEED certification:
- Petersen Sports Complex Addition & Renovation
- Salk Hall Renovation
- Pitt Johnstown, Engineering & Science Building Renovation
- Alan Magee Scaife Hall Addition & Renovation
- Hillman Library Renovation
- Pitt Bradford’s George B. Duke Engineering & Information Technologies Building
- Pitt Greensburg’s Life Sciences Building
- Athletics Arena & Performance Center
- Campus Recreation & Wellness Center
- Central Oakland Housing
- Crawford Hall Renovation
- Hillside Housing
Passive House is not just for houses nor are the buildings completely passive. The Passive House standards push buildings to reduce energy use 60 to 90% by reducing energy losses. Learn more.
Pitt has two (2) Housing projects being designed to the Passive House standard, which is a set of design principles for attaining a rigorous level of energy efficiency while creating comfortable indoor spaces.
Indoor Air Quality
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) refers to the air quality within and around buildings and structures, especially as it relates to the health and comfort of building occupants. Understanding and controlling common indoor pollutants can help reduce health concerns.
The quality of indoor air in campus buildings is priority for Facilities, who monitors IAQ across campus via maintenance, occupants, and controls. In most Pitt buildings, IAQ is monitored via maintenance personnel and occupant concerns. Pitt also uses Aircuity systems to improve air quality in over 125,316 square feet of space. These Aircuity systems constantly monitor indoor air quality and adjust ventilation to maintain and improve it through Pitt’s Building Management System managed by Facilities Management; they are installed in the following buildings:
- Benedum Hall: 23,145 sq ft
- Clapp Hall: 19,370 sq ft
- Heinz Hall: 5,816 sq ft
- Graduate School of Public Health: 3,683 sq ft
- McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine: 39,962 sq ft
- Nuclear Physics Laboratory: 3,934.602 sq ft
- Salk Pavilion: 29,405 sq ft
Materials & Health
Several Pitt Sustainability Plan goals are directly related to creating healthy indoor environments overall and through materials selection and management. These include:
- Embrace LEED and other high performance, sustainable building certifications for our built environment.
- LEED and other third-party green building rating systems incorporate consideration of healthy indoor environments through both the “Materials & Resources” and “Indoor Environmental Quality” categories.
- Material considerations often incorporated into Pitt spaces include: Content, type, and sourcing of materials, including furnishings; reduction of mercury, lead, cadmium, and copper in building materials; and overall life cycle impact reduction of building materials (i.e., embodied carbon).
- Indoor Environmental Quality considerations include (but are not limited to): ndoor and outdoor air quality; low-emitting materials; thermal, acoustic, and lighting comfort; access to daylight and views.
- Learn more about Pitt’s LEED buildings.
- Use healthy products for our built environment in accordance with university-wide sustainability guidelines.
- Pitt Facilities Management has an entire design manual outlining guidelines for professionals providing architectural, engineering, and construction services to the University; disciplines including electrical, mechanical, sustainable landscapes, and accessible landscapes are addressed in depth. This multi-volume guide addresses many important indoor health and materials considerations, especially through Division C: Architectural Design Guidelines for Sustainability, Products and Materials was holistically updated in November 2019 and utilized on all University projects managed by Facilities.
- Identify and improve the environmental quality of our indoor and outdoor spaces.
- Beyond the information provided on indoor environments throughout this section, Pitt’s Campus and Institutional Master Plans explicitly address strategies to improve the quality of Pitt’s outdoor spaces via open space, tree cover, mobility, planting improvements, and more.
- Campus landscape and ecology efforts include trees; green roofs; and edible, pollinator, and rain gardens.
- Pitt’s 145 acre campus includes nearly 80 acres of open space, including 14 acres of public realm green space shared with the community. the University’s goal is to increase the amount of public realm green space by 15% by 2031 and improve existing open spaces to the same standard. Contributing projects include Bigelow Boulevard (2021), hillside near the Recreation & Wellness Center, and Victory Heights transformation. Learn more.
- Works of public art on campus also stimulate discussion and ideas, enriching the overall learning experience. Learn more.
LEED certification is granted across a number of rating systems based on the number of points acquired, reflecting 4 levels of certification: Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum.
LEED points are earned across credits, which are the building blocks of a sustainable project across several different categories including: integrative process, location & transportation, sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy & atmosphere, materials & resources, indoor environmental quality, innovation, and regional priority. Within each credit category, a certain number of points is awarded.