How PNC Bank Went Net Zero

Feb. 22, 2013
Cost-cutting lessons from an ultra-efficient bank branch.

The innovative green technologies that helped a new bank branch achieve net zero energy consumption offer myriad lessons to FMs seeking to cut energy costs.

PNC Bank's latest branch office in Fort Lauderdale, FL, uses 50% less energy than a typical bank branch of similar size and exceeds the requirements for LEED Platinum certification, according to bank officials.

The company's net-zero strategy called for a mix of on-site generation and highly efficient technologies, such as:

  • 211 of the most efficient PV panels available for commercial applications

  • Photosensors that control dimmable light fixtures as natural sunlight increases

  • Occupancy sensors for lights and computer monitors

  • LED interior lighting fueled by a DC ceiling grid, which prevents the energy loss that normally occurs when converting DC to AC

  • A canopy covering the building's southern exposure that reflects sun during the hottest part of the day (which reduces cooling costs) without preventing natural daylight from entering

  • ENERGY STAR-certified appliances

The company expects the branch, which opened in January, to reduce operating expenses and spur local business growth. Many of the Fort Lauderdale branch's features will become standard in future PNC buildings.

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