In honor of Earth Day, here's a look at how credit unions are going green, with environmentally friendly business practices, facilities that limit their carbon footprint and much more.
TTCU's new home
TTCU The Credit Union’s new headquarters building in Tulsa, Okla., has an energy-efficient design that uses less than half the energy of the previous headquarters. TTCU looked to NewGround, a St. Louis-based experiential design-build firm, to help bring all senior management in one single structure that also realigned department adjacencies to maximize workflow efficiencies. The result was a new, efficiently designed, six-story corporate headquarters building with nearly 90,000 square feet of space.
Features include eye-catching elements throughout, such as a towering staircase that is functional and can serve as a communal meeting space, state-of-the-art training facilities to accommodate planned growth, a new computer server room with an enhanced disaster recovery plan, a new call center to handle growing member needs, and an employee lounge with “Fresh Market” healthy food choices.
TTCU hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony and reception at its new corporate office building on March 30, just 17 months after the official groundbreaking.
Going green in the Green Mountain State
Vermont State Employees CU, a credit union for everybody who lives or works in Vermont, invested in a solar project with local solar design and installation firm Soveren Solar in 2016. The array was up and running by November and since then, VSECU has offset a large portion of its energy costs with the credits earned by the array.
The Montpelier, Vt.-based credit union said it sees the savings in its energy bill every month and is proud of the 100% renewable energy its investment generates to reduce its impact on the environment. VSECU said the investment is consistent with its environmental mission statement, which also spurred the credit union to develop its successful VGreen loan program – a suite of products that offer affordable financing for energy efficiency and solar purchases.
The new Service Credit Union headquarters, which isn't open yet, is on Lafayette Road and is an example of the building boom which has taken place in Portsmouth over the last twelve months.
Deb Cram photo
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Service CU's state-of-the-art HQ
Service Credit Union, Portsmouth, N.H., said its Gold LEED-certified corporate office represents its commitment to environmental stewardship. The design of the building features a variety of efficient systems and sustainable elements, which minimize the building’s energy usage while creating a functional workspace.
“These environmental elements include redevelopment of a brownfield site, a light color roof to reflect sunlight and heat gain, geothermal heating and cooling, solar water heating, plus local and recycled materials,” said Michael Bergeron, vice president of logistics at Service Credit Union. “All of these features significantly reduce any impact on the environment.”
Service Credit Union reports its state-of-the-art facility assures less energy spent, reduced water usage and no consumption of oil or natural gas. These elements contribute to 36 percent less energy consumption, 40 percent less water consumption, 63 percent less CO2 emissions and a 98 Energy Star rating.
Tower's locally sourced branch materials
This branch of Tower Federal Credit Union, Laurel, Md., is one of three “green” projects designed and built for credit unions by Pittsburgh-based firm PWCampbell. The building has water-saving toilets, low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints and adhesives, rapidly renewing resources to decrease the building’s carbon footprint, sourced materials that were no more than 100 miles away from the building during construction, geothermal for heating and cooling, racks for employees and members to park bikes, and special shade awnings.
Saving water and locally sourced materials at MHVFCU.
Mid-Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union, Kingston, N.Y., had this green building designed and built by Pittsburgh-based firm PWCampbell. As was the case with Tower FCU in Maryland, the building has water-saving toilets, low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints and adhesives, rapidly renewing resources to decrease the building’s carbon footprint, sourced materials that were no more than 100 miles away from the building during construction, geothermal for heating and cooling, racks for employees and members to park bikes, and special shade awnings.
Environmentally friendly at Fort Lee FCU
Fort Lee Federal Credit Union, Prince George, Va., is the third of three green projects designed and built by Pittsburgh-based firm PWCampbell. The building has water-saving toilets, low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints and adhesives, rapidly renewing resources to decrease the building’s carbon footprint, sourced materials that were no more than 100 miles away from the building during construction, geothermal for heating and cooling, racks for employees and members to park bikes, and special shade awnings.
The Lake Trust campus
Lake Trust CU in Brighton, Mich. adopted the "Google campus" model for its new headquarters, which opened in Fall 2015. While the facility contains an open design, intermingled departments and community rooms, it also includes wood panneling refurbished from demolished buildings in Detroit, a "living wall" complete with vegetation, and is LEED-certified.
In Salinas, Calif., the new HQ for allU.S. CU was designed to meet the credit union's sustainability goals. As part of that, the CU worked with La Machia Group to design a facility with LED lighting, low VOC interior finishes and solar panels on the roof, in addition to teller pods, a coffee bar, kids' area with iPad access and other modern conveniences.
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