Hello to PNC’s new headquarters: one of the greenest (and more efficient) office towers in the world!

By Better Buildings Beat Team on Oct 05, 2015

PNC Financial Services Group officially opened its new headquarters, The Tower at PNC Plaza. This was not just any ordinary grand opening. Members of the community, city officials, and PNC executives gathered at the 33-story, 800,000 square foot tower in Pittsburgh to tour the building that is believed to be the greenest office tower in the world. Constructed to exceed LEED Platinum certification, it was built to accommodate PNC’s recent growth; it is now the workplace for approximately 2,200 employees. The project could also be featured as a Better Buildings Challenge showcase project as energy performance data is collected on the tower and PNC can measure how the building innovations put into practice are saving energy and money. 

PNC expects the tower will consume 50 percent less energy and 77 percent less water than a typical office building, through technologies such as:

  • A double-skin façade window system
  • A solar chimney consists of two vertical shafts located at the core of the tower through which warm air rises
  • Blinds with automated controls activate depending on the amount of light entering the building
  • A water recycling and treatment system is the most advanced in the U.S.; it recycles and treats rain and waste water for flushing, cooling and irrigation

PNC is changing not only the look of an office tower, but also the feel of it. Occupant satisfaction was just as important as the tower’s environmental and community impact. That’s why 92 percent of the tower’s workspaces have access to direct sunlight, and all employees have access to fresh air through the double-skin façade. Furnished two-story neighborhoods connect employees on different floors and provide alternative work spaces. Other amenities include bike racks, locker rooms, a full-service cafeteria with indoor and outdoor seating, an auditorium and an indoor park that features plants, furniture, fresh air and views of the city.

As part of the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge, PNC is committed to reducing its energy use by 20 percent by 2020 across 26 million square feet. For more information on how PNC has cut energy use by 6 percent compared to a 2012 baseline, as well as details on its involvement with the Better Buildings Challenge, visit their partner profile page at the Better Buildings Solution Center: http://betterbuildingssolutioncenter.energy.gov/partners/pnc