December 14, 2011 in Business

STCU’s growth generates green branch for south Valley

New building constructed to environmental standards
By The Spokesman-Review
J. Bart Rayniak photoBuy this photo

Kristy Rudolph, manager for the new Spokane Teachers Credit Union branch at 13211 E. 32nd Ave. in Spokane Valley, shows off the electric vehicle charging station at the LEED gold-certified building.
(Full-size photo)

Map of this story's location

Spokane Teachers Credit Union has once again expanded its footprint in the Inland Northwest, this time with a lighter touch on the environment.

On Monday, STCU opened its South Valley Branch at 13211 E. 32nd Ave., the 15th branch in STCU’s system.

The new building was designed and erected to the highest standard for environmental efficiency.

It includes a 240-volt charging station for electric and hybrid vehicles.

Avista Utilities reported the STCU hookup is the fourth such charging station that the company has records of in the Spokane area.

“It’s kind of exciting they stepped up to the plate and put in a new charging station,” said Dave Holmes, manager of applied research and development for Avista.

The charging station, which has two parking spaces, may be used for free by the public, said Dan Hansen, senior communications officer for STCU.

The new branch drew enough attention during Monday’s opening to attract six new members, Hansen reported.

In addition to the charging station, the new branch has solar panels that will be able to generate surplus power, sending it onto the region’s electrical grid.

It also has a roof and parking lot that will reflect heat.

Building materials were mined or produced within 500 miles.

Employees can use a shower to get clean after riding or walking to work.

The interior mechanical system is highly efficient.

Also, a no smoking policy extends to the parking lot, Hansen said in a news release.

The 3,496-square-foot branch was designed to meet the LEED gold certification for sustainability through the U.S. Green Building Council.

Evan Verduin, architect and manager of the project through Nystrom + Olson Architecture, said the design should result in a 50 percent reduction in energy use over conventional construction.

During construction, 78 percent of waste materials were reused or recycled, according to Barry Baker, owner of Baker Construction and Development, the contractor on the job.

Kristy Rudolph, manager of the new branch, has 15 years of experience with STCU, most recently as assistant manager of the credit union’s Valley Branch.

STCU operates 11 branches in Spokane County, one in Pend Oreille County and three in North Idaho.

The branch at Liberty Lake, which opened in 2008, was built to LEED silver standards, Hansen said.

LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

Founded by teachers in 1934, STCU is owned by its 100,000 members through a not-for-profit cooperative. STCU has $1.5 billion in assets.

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