Environmental issues dictate building materials at the first "green" branch for Chase banks. From ceiling tiles made from recycled material down to bamboo floor, the bank uses Energy Star equipment and lighting, employs a comprehensive recycling program and even features a branch manager who bikes to work. The branch in Denver’s LoDo District is Chase’s first constructed under Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) guidelines, but will be followed soon by four more — another in Colorado and three in Texas.
"Many of the efforts are subtle, but they will make a real impact on reducing our environmental footprint and having a positive effect on the community," said Peter Smith, the branch’s manager who bicycles 10 miles to work each day and can now shower at the office. The branch, not coincidentally, is in the Environmental Protection Agency’s new building.
No other bank branch in Colorado has achieved LEED status to date. Found at Wynkoop and 16th Street, Chase combined these green building practices in the construction:
- Behind the scenes elements like paints with low volatile organic compounds, specially sealed ductwork and state-of-the-art plumbing
- Top to bottom finishes such as recycled-material carpet and ceiling tiles and environmentally conscious bamboo flooring
- Choosing a location near Denver’s mass transit hub to support customers and employees who use alternative modes of transportation
- Comprehensive recycling that began with construction waste and continues with green cleaning products and use of recycled paper
JPMorgan Chase, Chase’s parent company, also is taking an environmentally friendly approach to both the renovation of its 48-story New York City headquarters and a new skyscraper planned for the World Trade Center area in downtown Manhattan.
Both New York projects, as well as the branches in Colorado and elsewhere, will seek the prestigious LEED certification for leadership in energy and environmental design.
The grand opening celebration for the branch at Wynkoop and 16th St. is from 5-7 p.m. Thursday and will feature branch tours, a sweepstakes to win a commuter bike and giveaways of organic cotton tote bags. Chase also will present a $15,000 check to Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado, a statewide organization supported by both Chase volunteers and company philanthropy.
"Chase demonstrates its constant care for Colorado as one of our steady supporters," said Ann Baker Easley, executive director of Volunteers for Colorado. "Chase is making a statement that big business is embracing its role in environmental sustainability."