First Net Zero Energy Bank Opens in Florida

05/16/2011
SustainableBusiness.com News

TD Bank (NYSE: TD) opened a "net-zero energy" branch in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, last week.

Only eight buildings in the US are registered as net-zero energy with the Department of Energy (DOE), and TD Bank will be the first to register a net-zero energy commercial bank.

DOE defines a net-zero energy building (NZEB) as a residential or commercial building that produces in a year at least as much renewable power as the total energy it uses.

A NZEB has two key energy features: The building is constructed with energy-efficient technologies that significantly reduce its energy demand, and renewable energy sources, such as solar panels, supply at least as much energy as the building uses over the course of a year.

TD Bank says the new location will require approximately 97,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity a year to operate, and its 400 on-site solar panels are expected to produce a minimum of 100,000 kWh a year.

The new store opens after TD Bank recently released results of a poll that assessed consumers' awareness of green buildings. The poll, which surveyed 1,510 consumers within major metro markets of TD Bank's Maine to Florida footprint, revealed that nearly three quarters of respondents think green buildings have at least some impact on the environment. In South Florida, 78% of respondents conclude they believe the same.

As a result of its energy-efficient design, the net-zero energy bank will also target the highest level of USGBC LEED certification, LEED Platinum. LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, evaluates buildings for their overall environmental performance in five areas: the use of sustainable sites, low water usage, energy efficiency, recycled materials and resource use, and indoor environmental air quality.

The store was built according to TD Bank's new green-store design standards, making it almost 50% more energy efficient than the bank's previous design.

Last year, TD Bank achieved a number of environmental accomplishments, including:

To mark the store's grand opening, TD Bank made a $50,000 donation to The Nature Conservancy, a Central Florida-based organization. The funds will be used to help protect and restore the Northern Everglades and the headwaters of the Everglades, which are among the great wetland landscapes in the United States.