Commonwealth Credit Union – Modular Bank

Client:  Commonwealth Credit Union (Lexington, KY)

Partner:  Newground

Architectural Excellence:  A large Kentucky Credit Union, nestled in the heart of thoroughbred country had built only large stick-built facilities that showcased their status and offered their members every banking convenience. Faced with impending lease expiration at an existing branch, and not enough time to secure local approvals to design and build, the credit union turned to NewGround to create a masterpiece and a miracle. NewGround created a transitional design that replicated some of the elements of their other facilities and deployed those finishes utilizing a factory built structure. Tastefully blending brick, stone, dryvit, and a rich green standing seam metal roof with a powerful tower entrance element, the building is a head turner.

Incorporating the best retailing elements to market the services that are offered, the brand and product offering of the credit union were seamlessly integrated. Digital signage, multimedia merchandising, stunning graphics to support the staffs’ sales effort were created.

Technical Innovation:  The challenge was to incorporate the custom branded elements of the project within the confines of a factory built structure. NewGround delivered all of the elements of a high end custom site built project within the tolerances of factory built structures. Local subcontractors took the delivered modular core structure and added custom ceiling soffits, a variety of accent lighting, free-form banners advertising products and services, and a variety of merchandising fixtures, all strategically placed.

A Kentucky vista displayed on the walls sets the backdrop for this open environment where teller lines have been eliminated, and frontline staff can focus on the member experience, instead of cash handling. Employees were taught to use the facility’s retail elements, like teller pods and digital signage, to open up communication with members and improve cross-sales. Within this dynamic environment, digital signage provides product and service information, as well as entertainment.

Cost Effectiveness / Energy Efficiency:  Energy efficiency was a concern, due to ever escalating energy costs. Well insulated walls, floor and roof areas in conjunction with high energy efficiency gas furnaces and air conditioning units were used to offset some of the heat gain/loss through the exterior windows.  Large open areas in the lobby and a significant amount of space dedicated to a secluded disaster recovery operation added engineering challenges to properly disperse conditioned air throughout the facility. Varying seasons and varying human tolerances for warmer or cooler workplace conditions all were taken into account and circulation of air was carefully orchestrated so all building occupants were satisfied and energy efficiency was maximized.

The cost savings of factory built construction allowed the credit union to opt for some desired finish upgrades. Combined with insulation upgrades and high efficiency HVAC, the operating costs of the building will over the course of time result in operating cost savings.