For some banks, green is more than just money.
PNC is wearing its commitment to green building on the exterior of its new Maryland headquarters downtown. The bank recently put the finishing touches on a massive "living wall" at One East Pratt Street.
Measuring 84 feet tall by 24 feet wide, the wall is made up of 504 vertical planters filled with a variety of ground-cover plants, including phlox, euonymus and pachysandra, all arranged to form the image of a tree with the PNC logo at its base. At 2,016 square feet, it's slightly smaller than the one gracing PNC's corporate headquarters in Pittsburgh.
Nice as it is to see a bit more green in downtown Baltimore's concrete corridors, the wall of greenery is not just for show. Effectively another layer of insulation, it contributes to the energy efficiency of the building, where PNC occupies four floors, with a bank branch on the ground level. The company expects to earn LEED certification for its headquarters space from the U.S. Green Building Council because it's using energy-efficient lighting and water fixtures and has incorporated recycled materials in everything from the ceiling tiles to the carpet and furniture.
The bank's green theme isn't limited to the headquarters, either. It's obtained LEED certification of nearly 100 of its branches as "green," including four in the Baltimore area. (LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, by the way).