The PNC Financial Services Group (NYSE: PNC) has unveiled the largest green wall in North America as an innovative way to make its headquarters building more energy-efficient.
The 2,380 sq. ft., soil-based wall - similar in size to a doubles tennis court - features a variety of regional plants grown into living art on the south-facing wall of One PNC Plaza at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Wood Street in downtown Pittsburgh.
It is estimated that each of the 602 panels, with 24 plants in each 2x2 sq. ft. space, will offset the carbon footprint of one person. The vertical garden, similar to a green roof, will help to cool the 30-story building. Preliminary studies show the south-facing living wall will be 25 percent cooler behind the wall than ambient temperatures. "The wall is a fitting reminder that PNC is the world leader in green building," said PNC Director of Corporate Real Estate Gary Saulson. "City sidewalks are cooler and quieter thanks to shade and sound absorption by green walls and urban planting. Together with our recently completed PNC Triangle Park just one block away, the wall creates much needed green space and offers a distinctive welcome to PNC's headquarters campus."
PNC has more newly constructed buildings certified by the United States Green Building Council under its LEED program than any other company in the world. Its roster includes 64 trademark Green Branch locations and two office buildings. About 20 environmentally friendly branches and two other major buildings are under construction or awaiting LEED certification.
About the Living Wall
PNC's green wall is mounted with a stainless steel bracketing and panel system anchored directly into One PNC Plaza's reinforced concrete masonry. Other details include:
- It will weigh approximately 24 tons when fully saturated via an internally controlled irrigation system. It is estimated that the wall will require just 15 minutes of watering once a week.
- PNC acquired all hardware, plants, materials and installers within a 500-mile radius of downtown Pittsburgh. Of the eight varieties, some plants will change in the winter and some will bloom in the spring.
- The wall is a product of Green Living(TM) Technologies (GLT) of Rochester, N.Y., and designed by Kari Katzander of Mingo Design of New York. Plant Connection is the US Distributor and Lead Grower for Green Living Technologies.
- Cenkner Engineering Associates of Coraopolis, Pa., and BD&E Strategic Branding and Design of Pittsburgh provided engineering and additional design.
Also nearing completion is Three PNC Plaza in downtown Pittsburgh. The 23-story multi-use high rise building is expected to receive various LEED certifications within the complex structure. The adjacent PNC Triangle Park, with bench seating and drought-resistant plantings, opened Sept. 18. PNC's flagship branch opened on the first floor of the tower in early August, and an environmentally friendly Fairmont Hotel, offices and condominiums are also part of the project.