Benedum Hall Phase 1 and 2 (LEED Gold, 2011 and LEED Silver, 2016)


Benedum Hall is located at 3700 O’Hara Street on the University of Pittsburgh’s main campus. It is the home of the Swanson School of Engineering, the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation, and the Office of Sustainability. Renovations in recent years have upgraded the building’s outdated utility infrastructure and programmatic areas to provide state-of-the-art teaching and research facilities for the Swanson School of Engineering

Over the years, Benedum Hall has undergone two renovation phases, all of which have pursued and achieved LEED certification. In 2011, Benedum Hall’s Phase 1 renovation achieved LEED Gold for 149,003 ft2 of the building and in 2016, Phase 2 achieved LEED Silver for the remaining 96,796 ft2.

Green Building Highlights 

Phase 1:

  • One of Benedum Hall’s 2 green roofs was added during the Phase 1 renovation, which helps reduce rainwater runoff and mitigates urban heat island effect.
  • Windows were replaced across the entire building, added energy energy-efficient reflective windows.
  • An open lab concept was introduced, allowing researchers to share space, equipment, and ideas. Flexible engineering services (supply and exhaust air, water, electricity, voice/data, vacuum systems), which are now easy to disconnect at the walls and ceiling that allow fast, affordable equipment hookups and space use flexibility.
  • Labs with fume hoods were upgraded, helping reduce energy consumption.
  • Water saving features, like low-flow plumbing fixtures.
  • Diverted 75% of waste from landfills.


Phase 2A:

  • Convenient public transportation access.
  • Bicycle storage and changing rooms.
  • Energy efficient lighting and lighting controls.
  • Use of renewable energy.
  • Construction waste management that diverted waste away from landfills.
  • Use of regional materials in construction.
  • Use of low-emitting materials, such as adhesives and sealants, paints and coatings, flooring systems, and composite wood and agrifiber products.
  • Use of Energy Star equipment.


On-Roof Solar Array

  • Added separately from LEED pursuits, Pitt’s first on-roof solar array was installed on Benedum Hall 2012. This 4.32 kW photovoltaic installation is for research purposes and includes 18 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels at different tilts (25 degrees and 45 degrees) and positioned in 3 directions (East, South, and West). It generally produces ~4,000 kWh annually.
  • Check out real-time generation data of electricity generated from the Benedum Hall solar array.



  • AIA Pittsburgh Design Pittsburgh Award, 2011
  • AIA Columbus Honor Award, 2010

Design Architect: NBBJ. Contractor: Volpatt Construction + 4 others.
Architect of Record: EDGE Studio. Architect: GBBN Architects.