First Bank in Wilmington, N.C., opened a new branch in Jacksonville, N.C., earlier this week, that was designed to be environmentally friendly.

"The building is a passive solar design using horizontal sun shades and the deep roof overhang over the clerestory windows," said E. Clay Elder, president and CEO of ESD Partners, the architecture firm that designed the branch, in a press release. "The shades and roof overhang depth are sized to maximize the use of sunlight and heat gain in winter and minimize the heat gain from sun beams the rest of the year. It allows the space to be well-lighted while avoiding sunlight annoyingly hitting customers directly in the eyes."

The branch will also have an open layout with free-standing wooden kiosks manned by tellers. "The tellers are to be out on the floor to provide an experience that is more conversational rather than transactional," a spokesperson said via email, which First Bank thinks will aid upselling and relationship building.

In its announcement of the branch, First Bank said that it views the branch as a prototype for future location designs.