PPL: Allentown, Pennsylvania
Designed by Robert A.M. Stern architects, the Plaza at PPL Center is one of the largest, as well as one of the first, commercial office buildings to achieve a LEED Gold rating by the U.S. Green Building Council. Located in downtown Allentown, Pennsylvania, the 8-story, 250,000 square foot facility serves as the corporate headquarters for PPL Corporation’s Energy Plus Division. It is a showcase of environmental features that save water and energy, minimize the impact on the environment and provide an inspiring and healthy workplace for PPL's 600 employees. The Plaza at PPL has won the American Institute of Architects/COTE Top Ten Green Projects in 2004, NESEA's (Northeast Sustainable Energy Association) 2004 Green Building Award for Large Buildings and the Urban Land Institute's 2004 Award for Excellence. Green features include:
- Extensive use of natural daylight that reduces the dependency on electric lighting and provides a direct window view for more than 90 percent of the office space.
- Two plant-filled winter gardens that provide a buffer from direct southern exposure and improve indoor air quality.
- A very efficient heating, ventilating and air conditioning system that uses more than 30 percent less energy than conventional building standards. It includes an ice storage system that makes ice at night when electricity demand is low and uses the ice to help save cooling energy during peak daytime periods.
- Bicycle storage, showers and locker rooms for employees who bike to work.
- An advanced lighting control system that dims the lights when there is natural daylight available and turns off lights in unoccupied areas.
- A vegetative roof to reduce runoff, reduce energy consumption and extend the life of the roof.
- Water-conserving devices that save at least 500,000 gallons of water per year.
- A large street plaza to increase open space for downtown.
- Recycled materials used in construction, and recycling of construction debris.
- The urban site used existing infrastructure and allows access to public transportation.
- Electricity provided from renewable sources.
- Storm water runoff control features.
- Fresh air ventilation, an air filtration system and careful selection of building materials to provide high indoor air quality.
William F. Hecht, Chairman, President & CEO, PPL Corporation