PNC Plaza Participates in Eco-friendly Financing

COLUMBUS, Ohio — PNC Plaza, a 24-story building located in downtown Columbus is undergoing $3.2 million in upgrades to its roof, lighting, air controls and water supply. The cost of these upgrades will be financed by the Columbus Regional Energy Special Improvement District, or E-SID.

E-SID allows building owners to use Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing. PACE, located in Pleasantville, N.Y., allows building owners to upgrade non-residential properties and the amount borrowed can be repaid by a special assessment on a property tax bill over a period of up to 30 years.

“Funding is available through my organization and Franklin County, while the E-SID lets us put a special assessment on the building,” said Franklin County Finance Authority President Jean Carter Ryan, in a statement. “As a result of the E-SID we can provide long-term fixed-rate financing for energy improvements.”

For PNC Plaza, the Columbus-Franklin County Finance Authority leveraged PACE in concert with a regional energy fund to pay for eligible building updates, according to a statement from Ryan. The loan is tied to the facility’s property bill and does not count as debt.

The tower was designed by Denver- based architecture and design firm Gensler and built by Philadelphia-based contractor PJ Dick Inc. Others on the project team include Seattle-based sustainability consultant Paladino & Company along with Bath, U.K.- based engineering firm BuroHappold and with New York-based ESI Design.

With funding provided by E-SID, PNC Plaza will install 11,000 LED lights designed to replace fluorescent bulbs. Along with other updates to the facility, the project will save an estimated $187,000 annually, according to property manager Rick Aronhalt.

The project will construct a white reflective roof, which will help cool the building. The original water pumps installed in 1974 will also be replaced. These renovations will allow the building to comply with LEED standards.

“We needed the improvements; PACE was just the most efficient way to get those things taken care of,” Aronhalt said in a statement. “Looking at what the project has done for the building and the environment, [PACE] was well worth it.”
Upon completion, the redevelopments decrease the 366,000-square-foot property’s carbon footprint by 15 to 20 percent. Through PACE financing Skokie, Ill.-based Arthur Goldner & Associates, the building’s owner, will pay $280,000 annually for 15 years.


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