University of Pittsburgh
November 1, 2005

University of Pittsburgh's McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine Laboratory Building Awarded LEED™ Gold Rating for "Green" Building, Becomes First University Building in Pennsylvania To Achieve This Status

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PITTSBURGH-The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) today presented the gold LEED™ (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating to the University of Pittsburgh's McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine Laboratory Building. Pitt Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg accepted the award from USGBC board member Rebecca L. Flora, who also is executive director of the Pittsburgh-based Green Building Alliance.

Currently, Pitt is the only university in Pennsylvania to have received the gold award. Across the Commonwealth, only 13 buildings-including the David L. Lawrence Convention Center-have been so designated. Nationwide, 96 buildings have reached the gold level.

"We are very grateful to the U.S. Green Building Council for recognizing and rewarding our McGowan Laboratory Building in such a meaningful way," said University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg. "The University of Pittsburgh has a long-standing commitment to environmental quality and sustainability. That commitment is reflected in pioneering educational programs such as our School of Engineering's Mascaro Sustainability Initiative, this award-winning construction project, and other initiatives. In terms of both public and economic health, it is hard to imagine a more compelling story than this one-a facility that is cutting-edge in terms of its environmentally friendly features, built on an abandoned steel mill site, dedicated to the development of life-saving medical technologies, and supporting 100 local jobs."

To earn the gold rating, the McGowan Laboratory Building achieved 39 points on the LEED scale, and its most notable green features include:

reuse of the site of a former industrial brownfield;

a 5,000-gallon underground storage tank that collects rainwater to be used for toilet flushing and drip irrigation, reducing the flow of storm water into Pittsburgh's rivers;

state-of-the-art heat recovery systems to reduce energy use and increase the efficiency of outside air spaces;

use of a large volume of locally manufactured or fabricated materials; and

extensive availability of alternative transportation, including bicycle racks, preferred spaces for carpoolers, and accessibility of public transit.

"Higher education is a critical economic sector for Western Pennsylvania, both as an industry and as an engine of economic development. As one of very few university buildings in the state to be certified green, the University of Pittsburgh is taking a leadership role in proving that progress can be green. The University's McGowan Institute is a promising example of green building on a brownfield, illustrating our region's success-one that we hope signals a trend-in environmental transformation," said Flora.

From the beginning, Pitt envisioned the building as part of its commitment to sustainability, and with the assistance of IKM architects, the Urban Redevelopment Authority, and financing from the Heinz Endowments, the R.K. Mellon Foundation, and the William G. McGowan Charitable Fund, the project was designed to meet the USGBC's LEED™ rating.

The LEED™ award is given only after a rigorous evaluation process and rewards the extent of sustainable building practices employed in design and construction. The LEED™ Green Building Rating System® is a voluntary, consensus-based national standard for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings.

The building, at 3025 E. Carson St. in Pittsburgh's South Side, is a 45,200-square-foot, two-story building approximately three miles east of downtown Pittsburgh on a former LTV steel site. The building holds office and laboratory space for more than 100 scientists, researchers, and staff developing such cutting-edge medical breakthroughs as artificial hearts and lungs and other life-saving devices. The McGowan Laboratory Building helped launch the economic revitalization of the East Carson corridor of Pittsburgh's historic South Side.

For more information about the McGowan Center for Regenerative Medicine, visit; the U.S. Green Building Council,; and the Green Building Alliance,