379,000 sf


Pittsburgh, PA


Moore Ruble Yudell Design Architect/Architect of Record
R3A Architecture Associate Architect


2019 Master Builder's Association Building Excellence Award for New Construction over $25M; 2019 AIA Los Angeles COTE Citation Design Award; 2019 WAN Award, Excellence in Concrete Finalist; 2019 AIA Pittsburgh Honor Award; 2019 ULI Pittsburgh Transformative Space Award; 2019 ENR MidAtlantic Award of Merit: Higher Education/Research Award; 2018 Pennsylvania Aggregates and Concrete Association (PACA) Excellence in Concrete, Project of the Year Award; Education Snapshots magazine (Oct 2019); HOME by Pittsburgh magazine (Jan 2020)


Office, conference, meeting rooms, entrepreneurship suite, executive education, shell space, auditorium, event spaces, fitness center, locker rooms, classrooms (all types), atrium, servery, open gathering areas, support, circulation, 127 parking spaces.



Breaking Ground, Breaking Barriers

An Integrated Hub

The Tepper School of Business relocates from its old home on the edge of campus in Posner Hall to become a central hub connecting all seven of the university’s colleges. This new connectivity promotes an enhanced ecosystem of cross-campus collaboration, bringing people, ideas, and resources together. The Tepper Quad visually connects to the historic campus core, seamlessly blending the past and future across Forbes Avenue.

An Iconic Gateway

Transforming an existing parking lot, the site is located at the intersection of campus and city. The building reimagines the historic campus where brick symbolized the institution as a “training ground for the industry.” The custom 21″ long roman brick, locally fired in rare beehive kilns, has richer golden hues than the standard campus buff to combat Pittsburgh’s overcast skies. The sloping site is leveraged to create a sense of arrival with two distinct new fronts – an urban front activating Forbes Avenue and a campus front facing a major new open space and the historic campus core.

Intentional Stewardship

Sustainable Design

The project transforms an existing impervious parking lot into an ecosystem of open spaces that infiltrates stormwater run-off, creates beneficial habitats, and encourages social recreation. Human-scaled exterior LED lights to create a comfortable and safe night environment. The exterior is a sculptural 3-dimensional play of solid & void. High-performance building systems include a large central HUB/Atrium that brings daylight deep into the building, an informal loft-like environment that can adapt to future needs, natural and cross ventilation, radiant heating, and cooling, raised floor system, heat recovery, and a robust exterior envelope.


The Tepper Quad Project has earned LEED Gold certification, and includes the following sustainable features:

  • Anticipated 39% reduction in energy use from ASHRAE 90.1
  • 85% of spaces have access to natural light and views
  • 120,000 Gallon Cistern reduces indoor potable water use by 49.7%
  • 98% of construction materials diverted from landfill through recycling and salvage
  • 99% of wood (by cost) is FSC certified
  • 50% of materials (by cost) are locally sourced regional materials
  • Largest radiant floor heating & cooling system in the Pittsburgh area
  • Fitness Center and outdoor landscape designed for active uses
  • Bike storage and showers

Expressing Interconnectedness

Carnegie Mellon leadership envisioned the Tepper Quad as a place that would embody the entrepreneurial mindset of the university, offering a three-dimensional network of community spaces that would foster the communion of interdisciplinary initiatives while also inspiring the creation of new ones.

The Tepper Quad Project enhanced interconnectedness at all scales, from site planning to building organization, to the building’s external expression. The entire ground level is transparent and activates the street while key spaces above showcase the collaborative work to the whole campus. The site links to an urban innovation Corridor and actively contributes to the city’s start-up culture. Additionally, the curved geometry inside is inspired by how people move and interact, and encourages the use of social stairs in lieu of elevators.

A Concrete Vision

An Interconnected HUB

The project is an interconnected HUB for creativitycollaboration, and innovation that represents Carnegie Mellon University’s future vision as:

  • A place of confluence
  • An ecology of active learning, research, and resources
  • A 3-dimensional network of community-building spaces
New Center of Campus

The Tepper School of Business moves from the edge of campus to a new center that interconnects all seven campus colleges and promotes an enhanced ecosystem of cross-campus collaboration, bringing people, ideas, and resources together. The new Quad visually connects to the historic campus core, seamlessly incorporating the rich heritage, culture, and traditions of the University.

Safety and Accessibility

“Complete Street” planning with the City and PennDOT widens sidewalks and buffers pedestrians. New and enhanced pedestrian crossings, traffic signals, universal access, cycling amenities, and an enhanced transit stop improve safety and accessibility.

Innovative Construction

Bubble Deck

Integrated passive and active design strategies address Pittsburgh’s climate and critical concerns of comfort, durability, maintainability, and future flexibility that allows building uses to evolve. The need for future flexibility drove our pioneering use of a concrete bubble deck system which, in combination with an open loft-like environment, adapts to evolving uses, pedagogy, and technology. The flat modular structure with uninterrupted floor areas supports future change with a “plug and play” of program spaces. Strength is created through a honeycomb structure using recycled plastic balls.


The usage of this Bubble Deck system resulted in the following:

  • Recycled plastic balls reduced concrete by 35%
  • Reduced embodied energy by 30%
  • Reduced overall building height by 10 ft
  • Produced floors 20% faster: less formwork & fewer beams
  • Increases flexibility & adaptability for program evolution
  • Reduced construction cost by 10%
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