Because VSECU is a credit union with its roots here in Vermont, we understand how important our environment is to our fellow Vermonters. We live in a beautiful state with mountains, forests, lakes and all the other natural features that we love—for most of us, that’s why we live here! We recognize how fragile these natural wonders are and how crucial it is to have as little negative impact on them as possible. At VSECU, we are always thinking ahead to the steps we can take to preserve our natural environment and conserve energy resources in all the ways we conduct business.
Before a plan was even on the drawing board, VSECU’s Rutland branch office at 72 Seward Road was conceived to be a “green” building, designed and constructed with an environmentally friendly plan guiding the project from first concept to completion. Together with Gossens Bachman Architects of Montpelier and Russell Construction Services of Rutland, VSECU has worked to make the Rutland branch a green facility.
Prior to construction, the property was set up for decreased storm water runoff and erosion control to keep the wildlife habitat stable. later, we landscaped with native and drought-tolerate plants. To add to the “green” factor, the parking lot features bike racks for those visiting us via pedal power and preferred parking for alternative fuel vehicles.
Structural concrete used fly ash as a partial substitute material for sand and portland cement. Fly ash is a by-product of the coal burning process. By re-using it in concrete, it is diverted from waste streams like fly ash ponds and landfills. The building was constructed with as many regional materials as possible. By using local materials, the project’s reliance on shipping was greatly decreased, thus reducing air pollution from truck exhaust.
Our design team chose slate from Vermont for the window sills and floor tiles and Vermont granite for the tower. We used wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. This council is a not-for-profit organization that promotes the responsible management of the world’s forests. The woodwork finish is low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are compounds that can easily evaporate into a room’s air and can be inhaled. The low-VOC poly-whey coating was produced in Vermont by Vermont Natural Coatings. Wallboard was purchased containing recycled gypsum. The high-efficiency, triple-glazed windows share some of the features with the windows recently used to retrofit the Empire State Building. The building site is positioned to take full advantage of the sunlight as a natural lighting source.
We also incorporated several recycled materials in the interior of the building. The fabrics for the furniture coverings are manufactured with recycled content (even the faux leather sofa). All carpets contain a high recycled content, further reducing the need for virgin materials.
The indoor environment is open and welcoming. The architects incorporated a large number of windows and skylights to take advantage of natural light. As a result, electricity usage is minimized while providing building occupants with scenic views. All paints, sealants and adhesives used contain zero or very low emissions of VOCs. Increased ventilation was provided to improve air circulation, save on heating and cooling costs as well as to help regulate the temperature.
Resource-saving strategies were implemented throughout the building with long-term use in mind. Low-flow toilets and faucet aerators were installed in the restroom and kitchen areas to minimize water use. Light emitting diode (LED), fluorescent lamps and energy-efficient appliances are also used to reduce the amount of electricity used by the branch.
At VSECU we are dedicated to improving the quality of life for all Vermonters. Because our environment is so integral to our quality of life, protecting our natural resources and minimizing our impact on energy resources is important to our mission. You are invited to visit us and see how we are redefining banking with our environmentally friendly branch, convenience services and products.