December 24, 2012

Eco-friendly Maine bank displaying its green roots

The new building which opened in Farmingdale last week blends business with the environment.

By SUSAN McMILLAN Kennebec Journal

FARMINGDALE – Where once a historic mansion perched above Maine Avenue, a modern bank building has sunk its roots deep into the ground.

click image to enlarge

This is exterior photo taken on Wednesday December 19, 2012 of the new Kennebec Savings Bank branch at the corner of Main and Northern Avenues in Farmingdale. The building was designed to resemble the house that was demolished earlier this year on the same corner.

Joe Phelan / Staff Photographer

click image to enlarge

Executive Vice President Andrew E. Silsby talks about the heat pump system during a tour on Wednesday December 19, 2012 of the new Kennebec Savings Bank branch at the corner of Main and Northern Avenues in Farmingdale.

Joe Phelan / Staff Photographer

Nearly every feature of Kennebec Savings Bank's new branch, which opened at 1 Northern Ave. last week, is environmentally friendly, including the geothermal system that will use six 450-foot-deep wells to heat and cool the building.

"Any company today needs to try to blend their business with trying to be better to our environment," said Andrew Silsby, the bank's executive vice president and chief operating officer. Everything from demolition of the mansion that stood on the site to sourcing of construction materials, from the highly insulated windows and walls to the carpets and cleaning materials, was intended to be low-impact. The project's architects are seeking silver certification from LEED, a national rating system for green building.

Bank officials thought they might be able to convert part of the ship captain's mansion on Maine Avenue, just as they had repurposed a historic home for their location in Augusta.

However, the mansion, built in the late 1820s, was structurally unsound and couldn't be retrofitted in an environmentally friendly way.

The bank tore down the home and incorporated some of its features in the new building. The lobby is designed to look like a carriage house, topped by a cupola, like the original. The hip roof features decorative, nonfunctioning chimneys.


Kennebec Journal Staff Writer Susan McMillan can be contacted at 621-5645 or at:


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