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The eye-catching, brightly colored design of a new bank building in Urbana, Ill., won Bailey Edward Architecture of Champaign, Ill., a 2011 Awards of Excellence Merit Award from NAHB’s Commercial Builders Council.
The design of the Freestar Bank building reflects the neighborhood lender’s mission to provide knowledgeable, reliable financial services in a comfortable and casual environment.
Having previously designed a Freestar branch in Champaign, the architects came to the project with a working acquaintance with the bank's needs.
“Freestar Bank insisted that we provide their clients with a comfortable atmosphere that fosters communication and a sense of community. For this reason, the entry and offices open onto a central lobby where clients can relax and enjoy a cup of coffee by the fireplace,” said Jessica Gilbert, project architect for Bailey Edward.
“Top quality materials and finishes were used throughout to emphasize the high value that Freestar places on its clients,” Gilbert added.
“The design speaks of strength and durability — certainly a significant message for a consumer banking business,” said Carl Harris, 2010 chair of the Commercial Builders Council.
The building’s visibility, with its frosted-glass entry tower, and its location in a downtown shopping district have helped bring in new clients for the bank. The designers also worked to ensure an easy flow of traffic around the building to accommodate drive-up and walk-in customers.
The building can be viewed from all sides and was designed to be appealing from any angle. Mechanical equipment and roof penetrations were concealed within a sloping roof with a dropped center.
The building is also energy-efficient. All its exterior walls were constructed using insulated concrete forms to optimize thermal resistance, and its rooftop HVAC units exceed energy code requirements by more than 10%.
Other energy-efficient features include occupancy sensors, energy-saving lamps and dual-glazed, low-e coated windows set in thermally broken aluminum frames.
“Excellent communications among the design team, owner and contractor played a key role in the overall success of the project,” said Kevin Schnebly, a branch manager for Bailey Edward. “Everyone’s commitment to quality was clear through all stages of construction.”
The Awards of Excellence recognize achievements in design, market appeal, overall aesthetics, challenges faced during building and overall success of commercial projects that are either built or renovated and range in size from less than 5,000 to more than 100,000 square feet.
For more information on the award and NAHB resources for commercial builders, email Lisa Leone, or call her at 800-368-5242 x8455.