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NECA, IBEW Aid in Construction of 'World's Greenest Skyscraper'

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These days, "green" building construction is becoming increasingly prevalent as architects and designers strive to maximize the use of natural light, incorporate seasonal temperature changes into ambient building temperatures, and utilize different forms of renewable energy--all the while creating a comfortable internal environment for those who visit and work in the facility.

In downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, what is being billed as "the greenest skyscraper in the world" is currently under construction. The Tower at PNC Plaza will have approximately 800,000 gross square feet when completed, and use the most state-of-the-art equipment and design in its lighting and ventilation systems, seeking to exceed Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification, the U.S. Green Building Council's highest certification rating.

One of most interesting features of the Tower is a unique double façade in which the outer windows automatically open, letting fresh air through the floors of the building and into a central shaft, essentially allowing the structure to "breathe" on its own. These windows are controlled by sophisticated systems that monitor external factors, such as sunlight, temperature, humidity, pollution levels and more, helping ensure the automated opening and closing of the windows occur at the most optimum times.

On the inside, the lighting system determines the amount of available sunlight to determine how much artificial light to bring to each floor and office.

NECA contractor Lighthouse Electric and IBEW Local 5 have been instrumental in helping install the electrical components for this groundbreaking piece of architecture, using some of the most sophisticated equipment and construction techniques around. In this edition of "Industry Today," learn more about this building and the contributions made by the NECA-IBEW team.

ABOUT NECA: The National Electrical Contractors Association, or NECA, has provided more than a century of service to the $130 billion electrical construction industry that brings power, light, and communication technology to buildings and communities across the United States. NECA's national and 119 local chapters advance the industry through advocacy, education, research, and standards development.

ABOUT THE IBEW: The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, or IBEW, represents approximately 725,000 members who work in a wide variety of fields, including utilities, construction, telecommunications, broadcasting, manufacturing, railroads and government. The IBEW has members in both the United States and Canada and stands out among the American unions in the AFL-CIO because it is among the largest and has members in so many skilled occupations.

Industrial Info Resources (IIR), with global headquarters in Sugar Land, Texas, three offices in North America and 10 international offices, is the leading provider of global market intelligence specializing in the industrial process, heavy manufacturing and energy markets. Industrial Info's quality-assurance philosophy, the Living Forward Reporting Principle™, provides up-to-the-minute intelligence on what's happening now, while constantly keeping track of future opportunities.