Lending Institutions are Banking on LEED. Two Florida Banks are in the Green and Saving Money

Real world statistics on cost per square foot for LEED Bank verses traditional bank building! Two Trails, Inc. - Green Building Consultants, certified two banks through the USGBC LEED certification program. City National Bank in Orlando, FL, achieved LEED Gold certification and Gateway Bank in Sarasota, FL, obtained their LEED Certification. Orlando, FL (PRWEB) May 7, 2010

Watching the bottom-line took on a completely new dimension when Two Trails, Inc. - Green Building Consultants became responsible for making sure not one but two banks can count on some extra money in their budget for years to come. Sustainability was the key to success both banks wanted to see reduced spending on utilities for the long haul.

"Reducing their monthly bottom-line was a motivator to achieve their LEED certification, but the quality of the indoor environment for both their employees and patrons was a key concern," stated Drew Smith, President of Two Trails.

The City National Bank Building at 355 N. Orange Ave. in Orlando is the first renovation in Central Florida to receive a gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. The decision to build green is made long before the first shovel of dirt is moved, before the pen is put to paper and designs are drawn. Sound building practices are passed down from one trade to another, skills are learned and techniques are modified as new products become available. In the case of City National Bank in Orlando, they had two unique structures built in 1945 and 1958 that exceeded quality construction for their time and well into the future.

"City National Bank achieved some really good statisitcs." stated Joshua Marinov, Vice President of Lamm and Company Partners, the contractor of record. "We estimate that the real world cost impact of LEED components were no more than 5% of the total cost of the project. We were then able to compare it to an earlier bank project and obtained some interesting numbers."

City National Bank LEED Gold -Construction Costs $200 psf.

The last Branch Bank New building Lamm and Company Partners built in 2009 was $300 psf and was not certified green. Subtract approx $60.00 psf for Sitework (Sitework was not required at City National) and that leaves an apples to apples comparison of $240 psf. City National was actually $40 psf less expensive.

By deciding to meld the new green building science with the design of the two existing structures, the road to a new building became a reality. In affect reusing, recycling and renewing what was the cornerstone for the new updated design. They chose five areas of improvement to focus on during their certification process and succeeded in reducing; electrical, water, natural resource conservation, and construction waste. They also improved the indoor air quality by utilizing all low VOC (volatile organic compounds or off-gassing) paints, furnishings, and floor covering.

35% Reduced Electrical Usage

50% Reduced Water Consumption

70% Purchased Green Power

90% Construction waste was diverted from landfills

90% Natural sunlight for interior lighting

Gateway Bank at 6201 North Lockwood Ridge Rd. in Sarasota, FL, wanted to make a statement that they were concerned about the community and the environment by not only using an existing structure as a base instead of totally new construction, but through the LEED certification showing that all that was done was 3rd party verified. From a financial aspect, it is expected to substantially reduce operating costs. Utility usage is projected to be reduced by more than 30.44%.

Overall, the project reduced property maintenance cost by properly choosing materials, HVAC systems and low flow fixtures that will reduce water consumption. The former bank building was converted to a new modern bank located in a very busy commercial shopping center outparcel. By taking the existing building built in 1996 and combining it with new construction techniques, they saved thousands in construction costs. The old structure was in impeccable condition this project emphasized the fact that you don't necessarily need to tear down a building to get a clean modern look and feel. Furthermore, it provides a healthy indoor air quality environment for the employees, reducing absenteeism and increasing productivity. Highlighted below are some of the key features of Gateway Bank:

30.44% Reduced Electrical Usage

50% Reduced water consumption

90% Natural sunlight for interior lighting

Achieving a green certification means having a finely tuned building working at its optimum level of performance. All USGBC green certified buildings incorporate: Energy Efficiency, Water Efficiency, Site Considerations, Healthy Indoor Environment, and Natural Resources.