Pittsburgh’s new convention center, with its distinctive sweeping roof inspired by the city’s powerful suspension bridges, offers dramatic vistas onto the Allegheny River and historic downtown. This new civic icon, the largest LEED-certified building and the first Gold LEED-certified convention center in the U.S., is a model for environmentally-conscious design. Responding to climatic and site ecological concerns, the center incorporates high-performance environmental features such as natural ventilation, natural light, a water reclamation system, and non-toxic / recycled building materials. A multi-level pedestrian nexus links the dynamic experience of the city and the expansive panorama of the Allegheny River, connecting public and functional spaces. The main public concourse is directly on the riverside, linked by a bridge to a public plaza. The four levels include 330,000 square feet of exhibition space (250,000 square feet are column-free), 53 meeting rooms, 37 loading docks, concourse, teleconference and telecommunication capabilities, and open public terraces. All spaces are multi-purpose and flexible in order to support varied uses. The slope of the roof encourages natural cross ventilation of the main space, taking advantage of the convection currents that draw fresh air from the river. Below, the main exhibition hall opens directly to the public concourse and river views. On the opposite side, the soaring curve of the roof projects to frame the city skyline. To achieve the column-free suspension structure, the architect and engineer designed a custom roof structural system utilizing suspension bridge technology that provided cost savings due to the reduction of steel. One of the many technical advancements employed, in addition to the custom roof, is the highly flexible-glazed 85-foot-tall curtain wall which uses lateral cable support with insulated glass units that give maximum transparency.