I recently caught up with Gary Saulson, executive vice president and director of corporate real estate for The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., as the company was clearing the site at Wood Street between Fifth and Forbes avenues for what is expected to be the world’s most environmentally friendly highrise.
The 33-story glass Tower at PNC Plaza will rely heavily on natural light and ventilation, feature high-efficiency heating and cooling system, as well as green rooftops to improve insulation and channel rainwater for re-use. The design team is exploring the use of fuel cells, solar panels, geothermal systems and other alternative power generation sources to reduce carbon emissions.
As Saulson explains in the video clip below, the green philosophy even applies to the demolition … er, “deconstruction” of the buildings that occupied the site. As much as 95 percent of the steel, wood and other salvageable materials in the previous structures will be re-used or recycled. The non-profit building material reuse retailer Construction Junction in Point Breeze is assisting with those efforts.
You can read more about the building — expected to be open for business in 2015 — here.