PNC Brings Italy’s Permastellisa to Pittsburgh; Mobile Factory is Assembling Glass “Skin” for The Tower at PNC Plaza

by on March 7, 2014



PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. is a leading champion of green building in the Pittsburgh region.  Since 2000 when the Pittsburgh-based company opened its first green building in Pittsburgh (PNC Firstside Center), PNC has continued to invest in buildings that aesthetically and efficiently reduce the impact of the built environment on the natural environment.  The most recent example is the $400M Tower at PNC Plaza, which will be the world’s most environmentally friendly skyrise and a beyond LEED Platinum-certified structure when it opens in 2015.

Underscoring its extreme commitment to green, PNC most recently brought to town one of the world’s leading contractors for manufacturing and installing building shells and interiors for assembly of the “skin” of the Tower.  To win the contract with PNC, Italy-based Permasteelisa Group, had to set up a local mobile factory.  Strategically, this move creates jobs here (with particular emphasis on hiring minorities and utilizing minority suppliers) while increasing quality control and decreasing the carbon footprint associated with shipping.

In an 80,000 SF warehouse in a Crafton industrial park, 16 to 20 skilled individuals are assembling – panel by panel – what will become a striking glass façade on the Tower.  In total, 7,637 5 ft. wide by 11 ft. tall panels, featuring glass by PPG Industries, will be required for the 33-story skyrise.  Already, panels have been installed on a number of lower level stories.

The façade will be more than just pretty packaging.  True to PNC’s embracing of intelligent building features and technologies, the façade will enable the Tower to work in harmony with Mother Nature to heat and cool the building with amazing efficiency, while allowing employees to bring fresh air in their workspaces, a benefit that’s often  “not on the menu” for those working in skyrise offices.

Read more about exactly how the Tower at PNC Plaza will deliver sustainability in synch with aesthetics in a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article by reporter Mark Belko.  Included is a video interview with PNC Director of Corporate Real Estate Gary Saulson and Roberto Bicchiarelli, senior VP and general manager of Permasteelisa North America.

Pittsburgh, once the poster child for a polluted environment, has been a pioneer and early adopter of green building innovation and practices in the U.S. – long before the green movement went global.  The new center for American energy, Pittsburgh is now a model for how industry and environmental responsibility and sustainability can successfully co-exist. The Pittsburgh region is home to 274 LEED-certified buildings, with more than 139 of them located in the city. Pittsburgh is ranked as the number one city in Pennsylvania for LEED-certified buildings.