One of the guiding principles of Alpine Bank’s Green Team is
a commitment to continuous improvement of the bank’s environmental practices.
This commitment lives large in the Tower, Alpine’s flagship building, which
dominates the downtown Grand Junction skyline.
As part of maintaining its certification to the globally
recognized ISO 14001 standard for environmental management, Alpine Bank (the
only U.S.-based ISO-certified financial institution.) has to undergo a detailed
annual audit conducted by the internationally accredited firm KPMG.
The 2012 audit cited a lack of progress in energy
conservation at the Tower. Jeff Bown, regional maintenance supervisor since
2013, has led a patient, strategic approach to implementing many energy
efficient upgrades. “From 2013 through 2019, we’ve seen significant resource savings
in all areas—water, gas and electricity.”
Since 2013, electricity usage has been reduced
by 20 percent, which is a 480,000 kWh savings. “With the building management
system fine-tuned, we shifted our focus to LED lighting retrofits and building
envelope enhancements,” Jeff said. “It’s a phased, ongoing process.” Full floor
remodels include 100% dimmable LEDs on motion sensors. Because the Tower
exterior is 75-percent glass, tint has been installed in many areas to mitigate
solar gain. This modern film provides 99% UV reduction and lowers interior
glass surface temperatures by 22.5 F degrees on sunny days.
Natural gas usage is down 15 percent, a
9,000-therm reduction. And Jeff expects greater savings driven by last year’s boiler
plant retrofit. High efficiency condensing boilers and variable rate pumps now provide
heat for the 11-story Tower.
Installation of low-flow fixtures has led to a
13-percent decrease in water consumption since 2013 as well, saving 279,000
gallons of precious Colorado water in 2019 alone.
The bank will evaluate the challenge and opportunity for
installing solar in the future.
“I couldn’t be more proud of where we’ve taken this
property,” Jeff said. “The support of Alpine management, and the cooperation of
our staff and tenants has been the key to success in all areas.”