Carter Bank & Trust has two goals in mind, when renovating and remodeling its branches.
The first is to improve the customer experience, while creating a uniform identity throughout the Bank’s footprint. The second, which may be less noticeable, but equally important, is to create an eco-friendly, sustainable environment.
“It lifts your spirits,” Bank Vice President of Facilities Olivia Karavatakis said. “Walking into a branch after a remodel is a completely different feeling. It makes you happy. I think it’s more welcoming and inviting.
“We want our branches looking consistent. We have a wide variety of colors and styles in our branches and we want them to have all have a similar feel when you walk in.”
Equally important though, is the reduction of energy, waste, and toxic materials that are used. From windows to HVAC units, even down to the paint, everything is being done with the environment in mind.
It starts with what Karavatakis calls “low-hanging fruit.” The things that don’t require much to change, but can make a big impact.
“One of the biggest ways we can help our environment is by reducing our energy consumption. The easiest solution is changing out light bulbs,” she said. “By changing all old bulbs to LED lighting, you can reduce your energy consumption by 30 to 60 percent.”
Another focus of the Carter facilities team is taking a deeper dive into the heating and cooling systems in the branches.
“We’re performing preventative maintenance twice a year to ensure they are operating efficiently which will also extend the life of the units,” she said. “You might spend a little bit more money up front, but you end up saving money down the road, you spend less on overall maintenance costs.
“We’re also using programmable thermostats, which will help keep the temperatures set between specific set points and run only during occupied hours.”
When it comes to heating and cooling a building, the windows and doors also play a vital role. The Bank is using low-e doors and windows, which block out heat gain, eliminating unwanted heat in the building and reducing the workload of the HVAC units.
The Bank is also using low to no odor paints (zero VOC paint), which are healthier for customers, associates and the construction workers who are doing the remodels.
Lastly, in keeping with Carter Bank & Trust’s belief in supporting the communities they are privileged to serve, the Bank is sourcing local vendors for both the labor and supplies.
“Every little bit counts when it comes to the environment and the impact we make on the environment and our communities,” Karavatakis said.
The plan is for all of the Carter Bank & Trust branches to be fully updated by the end of 2024.