As the company with the most new LEED-certified buildings in the world—157 total—it’s not surprising that PNC Financial Services Group tasked Gensler with making its new Pittsburgh headquarters the greenest building in the world.
Slated for completion in June of 2015, the $400 million, 800,000-square-foot corporate headquarters will house 3,000 employees and be the third major LEED-certified project in downtown Pittsburgh. The building’s solar chimney—a first in new North American construction, according to Gensler—will bring air and sunlight deep into the 33-story structure. PNC expects to use the solar chimney about 45 percent of the time, significantly reducing carbon emissions.
“We designed the new tower to maximize daylight in all work spaces and allow for passive natural ventilation,” said Hao Ko, principal and design director for Gensler. “The preeminent experience we wanted to achieve for the employee is comfort. The design team asked why it is that people have to step outside for fresh air, and why we couldn’t integrate this experience into the everyday condition?”
Disparate floors will be connected to each other through open, double-height spaces designed to spur interaction among employees and foster connectivity in shared spaces like pantries, copy rooms, meeting rooms, and community tables. Two patios filled with plants, flowers, and other vegetation, as well as a 5-story atrium at the top of the building will provide a park-like experience.
Below the new headquarters will be a multi-story parking garage for 136 vehicles and as many as 195 bicycles. Two retail spaces in the complex—located off the multi-story lobby—will open up to the street, creating a brilliant community space for all of Pittsburgh.
For more information about the project, visit thetoweratpncplaza.com.