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Green to the Core

When Citi made a plan to undertake the renovation and construction of new bank branches throughout the Northeast, the USGBC saw an opportunity. At the time, a standard for LEED certification in Commercial Interiors for Retail didn’t exist. So the USGBC collaborated with Citibank and their design team to establish a pilot program for establishing the standard for sustainable design for retail. The program was known as Citi’s “Green to the Core” initiative. And we were on the team, to both provide input into the new LEED standard and design for over 25 of Citi’s branches.

We focused on lowering energy costs. To do so, we designed the branches with lower lighting levels, fewer fixtures, and automatic lighting control systems. That was just the beginning. For many of the branches, we designed high efficiency gas fired roof-top units which used environmentally friendly refrigerants and had humidity control as well as on-demand ventilation. We used free cooling whenever possible.

One thing that we are always thoughtful about in sustainable design is to be thoughtful so as to not compromise the work environment or productivity. We designed systems to carefully monitor the humidity and carbon dioxide levels in each branch to provide optimal thermal comfort. We also wanted people to be comfortable in the winter, and made sure that was the case by designing perimeter baseboard heaters to cover large amounts of the exterior windows. The heaters use the hot water boilers to generate and circulate water.

We also designed dual low-flow toilets and flow-restricted sinks to minimize the amount of water used.

All of these design elements helped Citi with their goal of earning LEED certification for their bank branches.

Project Type
, AL

Project Services

Electrical (Interiors)

Prepared electrical lighting drawings for fixture circuiting, specification and switching. Prepared power drawings with circuiting, panels, transformers, exit signs and emergency lighting.

Fire Alarm (Interiors)

Prepared drawings showing selections and locations for ADA compliant audible and visual fire alarm devices.

Fire Protection (Interiors)

Prepared drawings showing distribution piping and locations of sprinkler heads, preaction and/or FM 200 systems.


Designed MEP systems in compliance with the LEED certification requirements. Performed calculations and provided submittals, drawings and narratives for all MEP pre-requisites and credits, as required by the USGBC.

Mechanical (Interiors)

Designed HVAC systems including transfer fans, environmental requirements, controls and management systems.

Plumbing (Interiors)

Designed plumbing fixture locations and rough-in requirements.