Madison East Location

The rain garden at the East branch absorbs rainfall and keeps water and pollution out of Madison lakes. Each year it absorbs as much water as if you left your shower running for 28 days.

Ed Linville, Architect

A great deal has been written about green building. Our goal is to go beyond the writing to the reality. This requires working with our client based on a commitment to the environment, a willingness to learn and a belief in the future. The Madison East branch was Wisconsin's first LEED Silver bank. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification designates buildings that respect or exceed strict green building standards.

As individuals, we can make greener choices in our lives and, as always, awareness is the first step toward choice. When we view a green building design holistically, we discover there are many incremental things that can be done along the way that add up to success. Client education and commitment are key components of a green building project. In this case it was a natural as it was foremost among the goals to create a healthy environment for customers and staff.

A major principle of our green projects involves working with natural elements to create an environmentally responsible building inside and out and direct application of green principles. This process is abundantly represented at the Madison East green built branch.

It begins with the physical and environmental benefits of an interior filled with light and a high level of indoor air quality. The light was achieved by window placement allowing sunlight to cascade into the space through both clear and diffused glazing first placed high and continuing to soften via a system of light tiers creating graduated light levels. This eliminates glare and resulting eye fatigue. As often is the case in our work, the pattern for this sunlight concept is observed in nature - much like sunlight through trees eventually settling lightly on the forest floor.

Additionally, energy efficient (HRS) heat recovery units are used to condition incoming fresh air. Indoor air is cycled through the building upwards of 10 times per hour. Replacing indoor air with this conditioned fresh air from outside requires less energy to increase air temperature prior to reaching the interior heating system. The quality of this outside air is superior to the non-refreshed indoor air and provides a continuum of this air transfer.

To supplement this, products with low V.O.C. (Volatile Organic Compound) levels such as paints, adhesives, carpets and surfaces have lower levels of out gassing characteristics. Thus, both at original occupancy and later in the life cycle of the building there will be less detracting from environmental air quality.

A thoughtful building like this will continue to benefit and take less from the environment on a yearly basis than one that isn't green. It is an investment in the people who will use the facility and an investment in our future.

Ed Linville
Linville Architects, LLC

Jane Sweetman, Banker-Gardener

East branch customers know Jane Sweetman for her friendly ways and great attitude. “I don't care what the balance on the screen says, everyone deserves help and respect,” she explains. “Customers make banking fun!” Jane enjoys her job as a Customer Service Representative, and serves as an enthusiastic eBanking Specialist.

What many customers don't know is that she also wears another hat. Jane parlayed her extensive home gardening skills into the official position as caretaker of the bank's rain garden about four years ago. The flourishing garden tells you Jane knows her stuff. “I love plants!” Jane says, listing her favorite plants in the garden as the Prairie Smoke and Beebalm.

Arranging the schedule so Jane can devote some of her work days to gardening made perfect sense. Our associates are encouraged to develop their roles based on their interests and skills. We're fortunate to have such a talented gardener in our midst.