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PNC to Open Net-Zero Energy Bank in 2013

PNC Bank will open a net-zero energy branch in the first quarter of 2013, the company said.

PNC expects the new Fort Lauderdale, Fla. branch to exceed LEED-Platinum certification and be the company’s most energy efficient, using 50 percent less energy than a typical branch.

The 4,900-square-foot building will feature 211 solar PV panels and sensors that control dimmable light fixtures when natural sunlight increases. It will also have a fitness path for public use, paving designed to reduce rainwater runoff, high-efficiency LED lights and Energy Star appliances.

PNC says some of these may become standard in the company’s next-generation buildings.

The branch’s other sustainable design elements include:

  • Occupancy sensors that will prompt lights and computer monitors to shut off automatically in unoccupied spaces.
  • An energy recovery ventilation system to capture and transfer energy from conditioned air exiting the building to fresh air entering the building. This will also cut PNC’s cooling costs.
  • Local and recycled building resources for structural and shell materials, as well as finishes. Products made with more than 80 percent recycled material have also been selected for all ceiling tiles and walls.
  • Native plants to minimize irrigation needs, and natural drainage channels lined with plants to filter out pollutants and permit ground absorption, diverting 90 percent of site stormwater from municipal sewer systems.
  • A canopy covering the building’s southern exposure to reflect sun during the hottest part of the day while allowing natural daylight into the building.

PNC collaborated with global design firm Gensler on the branch’s design, as well as the Department of Energy as part of the DOE’s Net-Zero Energy Commercial Building Initiative.

At 118 buildings, PNC says it has more newly constructed LEED-certified buildings than any other company. The company says it became the first major US bank to design and build LEED-certified branches in the country, in 2002.

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