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TD Bank green branch to open in Queens Village

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Officials from TD Bank offered a sneak preview Tuesday of their Queens Village location, which opens Saturday and is the company’s first green branch.

“This is a great example of the TD commitment to going green,” said Greg Braca, TD Bank’s regional president for New York.

Frank Sherman, the U.S. green officer for TD Bank, said the Queens Village branch at 214-32 Jamaica Ave. will produce about half the energy of the company’s other locations, which TD bank calls “stores.”

“To us, that’s huge,” he said.

Sherman said it was the local community’s desire that led TD Bank to make the Queens Village location its first green branch.

“We felt this was the right community to put up this store,” he said.

Sherman said by not overbuilding on the 3,800-square-foot site, TD Bank used fewer materials and energy during construction. The bank is outfitted with a series of solar panels on the roof and canopies that will generate 17 percent of the energy the building uses each year, which will reduce the branch’s dependency on coal plants, Sherman said.

“It is just, to us, the right thing for us to be doing,” he said of the green branch, which also has carbon dioxide censors that tell the building when to let in fresh air.

“We paid a lot of attention to indoor air quality,” Sherman said. “It’s great for employees, it’s good for our customers.”

The location has a daylight harvesting system that will drop electricity consumption for lighting by 50 percent, Sherman said. Sun shades are automatically lowered based on how much sunlight is getting into the building, he said. The bank’s drive-thru area contains asphalt pavement that is 40 percent recycled, Sherman said. Additionally, 85 percent of the construction waste from building the branch was recycled, he said.

Braca said TD Bank plans to have the branch rated a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-Platinum site, the highest distinction that can be achieved for a green building.

The Queens Village location was made with steel, of which 97 percent was recycled material, Sherman said.

In the whole building, 47 percent of it was constructed with recycled content, including the carpet and granite countertop by the tellers’ area.

Scott Hite, the branch’s architect, said the building also has a colorized historic mural depicting the Queens Village Long Island Rail Road station from around 1910.

“It makes this store the community’s store,” he said.

Hite said the bank’s vault allows customers to open safe deposit boxes inside the area, making it more convenient.

The branch also has a computerized community message board to notify patrons about the bank’s involvement in the community, he said.

Braca noted the economic opportunities created by the new branch. He said 15 employees will work at the Queens Village location.

“For every site we open like this, it creates jobs in local communities,” he said.

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at hkoplowitz@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.

Updated 5:55 pm, October 10, 2011
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