From: Paul Geary, ENN
Published March 15, 2005 12:00 AM

PNC Bank Takes Green Approach

PITTSBURGH — PNC Bank has announced that it has made integrating its business practices with environmental responsibility a top priority. The bank, part of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., a publicly traded company, has nearly 800 bank branches and 23,000 employees nationwide.


"As a bank we recognize the importance of wise investments and that theintegration of green principles into our business practices enhances the valuewe deliver to customers, shareholders, communities and employees," says NeilHall, CEO of regional community banking at PNC. "Good environmental sensemakes good economic sense."


PNC has begun an effort to ensure new branches meet U.S. GreenBuilding Council standards. The bank has 10 environmentally friendlybuildings, with plans to build at least 90 such branches with even morerigorous standards. Features of these buildings include:


--Window walls: These feature a "four-element assembly" with two sheets of glass sandwiching two sheets of film. Layers isolate extreme temperatures, keeping the building cool when it's hot outside and vice versa.
--Masonry walls: Pre-cast polymer material allows branches to be quickly and economically built. They are manufactured off-site, resulting in less construction waste.
--Interior: Countertops are made of recycled paper and sustainable wood. Cabinetry is made of wheat board, a byproduct of wheat processing, instead of plywood, while the use of rubber flooring and steel is also sustainable as is recycled content in carpeting, wall covering and fabric for furniture.


"Customers are proud to do business with a socially responsible companyand communities favor new construction and economic growth with minimal impacton local resources," says Gary Saulson, director of corporate real estate atPNC. "We also see improvements in the health and well-being of employees. Inone PNC-green building, employee satisfaction was higher and retentionimproved 50 percent."


The construction cost of a "green branch" is the same as a traditionalbranch. However, construction time is four to five weeks faster, resulting ina 75 percent reduction in waste. The bank has also contracted to store andrecycle material that would normally go to a landfill. Also:


--Daylight maximizes natural light without creating interior glare or heat; natural light both saves energy (7 percent energy reduction) and provides greater comfort for customers and employees.
--Solar energy photovoltaic panels on the roof capture and convert sunlight to energy, providing 10 percent of building energy.
--Water collected from the roof will be used to flush toilets, decreasing waste water by more than 50 percent and overall water consumption by 40 percent.


The environmentally friendly approach will be housed inside branchesdesigned by Gensler, one of the world's largest architectural firms.


Source: PNC Bank


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