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PNC Tower Construction Cuts Environmental Impact

In keeping with its goal of making its new headquarters the world's greenest skyscraper, PNC is requiring building contractors to follow company-specific environmental rules in addition to those enforced by the EPA and Allegheny County Health Department.

Construction is to begin this spring on the $300 million Tower at PNC Plaza in downtown Pittsburgh. Benson Gabler, PNC's Manager of Corporate Sustainability, says construction crews will have to curtail diesel emissions, a requirement the company has never enforced this strongly.

"We know that air quality in Pittsburgh, while it's improved significantly over the last 50 years, it's still — in many reports, rank [Pittsburgh] as having some of the worst air quality. And part of that is due to diesel emissions," Gabler said.

PNC is requiring all contractor vehicles to meet EPA Tier 4 Emission Requirements, which state that emissions of particulate matter and nitrogen oxides be reduced by about 90 percent.

In addition, PNC will also prohibit vehicles from idling for more than five minutes and mandate that at least 25 percent of portable equipment be electric.

The 40-story skyscraper at 5th Avenue and Wood Street is expected to house offices for 3,000 employees and be completed by summer 2015.