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.”