The Bank at Briargate Crossing in Colorado Springs is Colorado’s first Wells Fargo retail-bank store pre-certified for LEED Silver. The bank’s new stores are based on a flexible design model that can be configured to blend with local architectural motifs throughout the country.

Briargate Crossing’s light-harvesting system helps cut energy use by 20%. Insulation is manufactured from recycled cotton, primarily denim, and carpets and window treatments are made of 100% recycled materials. Low-VOC paints help improve air quality. Low-flow plumbing fixtures cut water use by 40%. Countertops for the six teller stations and the check-writing stand contain recycled glass.

Green amenities include bike racks and preferred parking spaces for low-emission vehicles.

“Construction of this store is part of our broad, companywide commitment to the environment,” says Steve Helbing, regional president for Southern Colorado. “We are pleased that Colorado Springs was chosen to be Wells Fargo’s first community in Colorado to have a new LEED-certified store.”

Two former Wachovia stores in Colorado Springs are being retrofitted for LEED certification under the LEED for Existing Buildings Operations and Maintenance program. The Briargate store is due to be joined by two more LEED pre-certified stores in Denver and Boulder, with others scheduled to follow throughout the state.

The 5,070-sq-ft bank was built between June 1 and Oct.  5, 2009 at a cost of $1.2 million, according to Spencer Levin, project manager for general contractor GE Johnson Construction Co., Colorado Springs.

Denver’s Davis Partnership Architects designed the building.

“Highlights include two decorative front towers capped with sheet-metal roofing, 32 parking spaces, three drive-up teller lanes, one ATM lane, a secure precast concrete vault and 1,000 sq ft of canopy and walkways,” Levin says.

GE Johnson deployed continuous concrete and pad footings to anchor interior columns, structural-stud exterior walls and a brick-and-masonry skin incorporating CMU blocks. The heat-deflecting, white EPO-membrane roof is supported by wood joists accompanied by reinforcing structural-steel beams.

“Forest Service-certified woods were harvested from renewable forests, where for each tree harvested a sapling is planted,” Levin says. “Workers received training in indoor air-quality management, and we were able to recycle 96% of our construction waste.

“Landscaping includes native drought-resistant plants and a water-retention-leaching pond to filter out contaminants from surface runoff before they reach storm drains.”

Expansive glazing brightens the interior and ensures an ample supply of natural light for the automated daylighting system. Sophisticated automation also operates the electrical and mechanical systems at peak efficiency. Five different heating-and-cooling zones allow temperatures to be regulated locally.