Harris opened its first “green” bank branch on the South Side of Chicago. The City of Chicago supported the bank to install geothermal heating and cooling system in the branch, which is expected to reduce up to 30 percent of energy consumption annually, compared to a conventional system.
The branch was designed by STL Architects and saves energy with motion-detecting light switches and the use of daylight in 75 percent of the space. The bank has high albedo content surfaces -which are reflective and do not trap heat – for paving and roofing. In addition, the branch uses recycled wood and wood from sustainable forest.
Harris has applied for a LEED Silver Certification for the branch.
Banks like Chase, CitiFinancial and Wells Fargo have also built LEED certified branches. Wachovia announced last year that it plans to build only green financial centers and plans to build at least 300 green branches nationally by 2010.