World's Most Environmentally Friendly Skyscraper to be Built in Pittsburgh (With Video)

The PNC Financial Services Group Inc. plans to construct the world’s most environmentally friendly skyscraper in Pittsburgh.

The Tower at PNC Plaza will feature a double glass facade to enhance energy efficiency by reducing cooling costs and allowing natural airflow to the building. Using advanced sensors and metering, a state-of-the-art, high efficiency heating and cooling system will deliver conditioned air to specific zones of the building, as needed. The building will be oriented to take advantage of sunlight in workspaces, reducing the need for artificial light during the day. The design team is also currently exploring fuel cells, solar panels, geothermal systems and other alternative power generation sources that will significantly reduce carbon emissions. The building’s green rooftops will collect rainwater and channel it for use in other parts of the structure, as well as reduce the heat gain associated with traditional rooftops.

At approximately 800,000 square feet, the Tower at PNC Plaza would be PNC’s largest building in Pittsburgh. Tentative plans call for approximately 300 underground parking spaces, street level retail and green rooftops. Erecting the planned $400 million Tower should create 2,500 construction jobs, with 500 workers at a time on the site during peak periods.

“The Tower at PNC Plaza is an exclamation point on our investment in downtown Pittsburgh, and it reflects our commitment to community, competitiveness and innovation, as well as the comfort and productivity of our employees,” said James E. Rohr, chairman and chief executive officer of PNC. “When the Tower is complete, we will have invested more than $700 million in green buildings at the heart of the city.”

“A headquarters facility is the cornerstone building of any company’s portfolio, embodying company values and business ethics. PNC is making a strong statement by building their forthcoming headquarters to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards,” said S. Richard Fedrizzi, president, chief executive officer and founding chairman of the United States Green Building Council. “This project is just another example of PNC’s on-going leadership, setting a green building example for other large corporations through their application of LEED.”

PNC opened its first green building in 2000. At that time, the 650,000-square-foot PNC Firstside Center was the largest LEED-certified building in the world. In 2010, PNC opened Three PNC Plaza, one of the largest LEED-certified mixed-use buildings in the United States. PNC, which has more newly constructed buildings LEED-certified by the USGBC than any company on Earth, recently completed its latest green office building in Washington, D.C. LEED Platinum-certified PNC Place sits just blocks from the White House and serves as PNC’s regional headquarters in the capital.

Construction is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2012. PNC anticipates completion of the Tower at PNC Plaza in the summer of 2015.

Consistent with PNC’s commitment to green building practices, re-usable materials from deconstructed buildings on the site will be donated to Pittsburgh-based non-profit building supply warehouse Construction Junction.

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