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ABC 7 Living Green - Suncoast bank goes green

by ABC 7 mysuncoast.com
SARASOTA COUNTY - Banks are used to dealing with the color green; but one Suncoast bank has taken it a step further by working green.
We ask our banks to keep our money safe.  Gateway Bank's University Boulevard branch is also protecting our environment.  It was retrofitted about a year ago by Willis A. Smith Construction -- experts in green building -- and green architect Michael Carlson.
The result is an energy and water efficient building that's LEED certified.  It's only the fourth bank in the state to earn that distinction, and the first in the area.
Willis Smith and Gateway have compared its efficiency to another Gateway Branch in Bradenton over the past year.  "And what's nice is the 2 branches are relatively similar, so we're now, after a year, we can compare the data and utility costs," says Dave Sessions, president of Willis A. Smith Construction.
"On a per square foot basis, we're seeing a 41% savings with the LEED-certified branch vs. the non-LEED-certified branch.  So it's pretty tremendous, and the payback we've estimated is right at 38 months, so we're very, very encouraged on that," says Shaun Merriman, president and CEO of Gateway Bank of SW Florida.
The savings comes from three main elements: the windows keep the heat out and the cool air in; underneath the bank's roof is highly effective spray foam insulation; and because the building is so well insulated now.  Smaller, more efficient air conditioners were installed, lowering the cost of its power bills.
The bank is also a healthy place to work.  All paints, materials, carpets and sealants are no-VOC -- that means they contain no volatile organic compounds...basically chemicals that can make us sick.
Merriman hopes more businesses will go green.  He says there are less than 10 LEED-certified buildings in Sarasota County.  "We have a lot of room for improvement and I'm very encouraged that our bank was one of the very first to take that step and take that initiative."
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Topics: architecture, carlson, usgbc, LEED, sarasota, renovation, bank

Gulfcoast Business Review Features Gateway Bank's LEED certified project

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Topics: LEED, Michael, sarasota, renovation, award, tampa, bank

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