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BCU Awarded LEED Green Building Certification

BCU Awarded LEED Green Building Certification

For immediate release:
May 28, 2009

Contact: Astrid Perez
(847) 522-8723
astrid.perez@bcu.org

May 28, 2009 - Vernon Hills, IL - Baxter Credit Union (BCU) announced today that it has been awarded LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environment Design) Certification for Commercial Interior renovation by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). LEED Certification is the USGBC’s benchmark for the design and construction of the world’s greenest, most energy efficient, and high performance buildings.

"Becoming a more environmentally responsible organization is another way BCU gives back to the community and its members," states BCU President and CEO Mike Valentine. "Not only does it reduce our carbon footprint and provide a healthier place to work and visit, but it creates efficiencies that translate into higher savings rates, lower loan rates, and reduced or eliminated service fees for our members."

In 2007, BCU set a goal of remodeling its new Vernon Hills headquarters into an environmentally friendly building. LEED Certification of BCU was based on a number of green design and construction features that positively impact the facility itself and the broader community. These include BCU recycling more than 95% of the construction waste associated with the remodeling; purchasing furniture manufactured regionally; reusing existing ceiling tiles, lights, and doors; instituting a "green cleaning" program; providing additional bike racks; special parking for carpoolers and hybrid vehicles; using low VOC (volatile organic compound) carpeting and paint; and more.

"The green building movement offers an unprecedented opportunity to respond to the most important challenges of our time, including global climate change, dependence on non-sustainable and expensive sources of energy and threats to human health," said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO, and Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council. "The work of innovative projects such as BCU’s is a fundamental driving force in the green building movement."

Achieving this milestone is a significant award for BCU. BCU is the first Illinois credit union to be LEED certified and the first building in Vernon Hills to achieve this status.

On Saturday, June 6, BCU will be hosting a certification ceremony. The USGBC as well as local dignitaries will be in attendance among others. Registration will open at 9:30AM for a 10:00AM ceremony. Tours will follow.

About BCU
With over $1.4 Billion in assets, BCU currently serves more than 140,000 members throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. Formed in 1981 and headquartered in Vernon Hills, Illinois, BCU is a not-for-profit, member-owned credit union known for competitive rates, low fees, and state-of-the-art services. Membership is open to several prestigious companies around the country, as well as anyone who lives or works in the Illinois counties of McHenry, Lake, DuPage, Kane, Cook (north of Rte. 58) and the village of Schaumburg. Call 1-800-388-7000 or visit www.BCU.org for more information.

About the U.S. Green Building Council
The U.S. Green Building Council is a nonprofit membership organization whose vision is a sustainable built environment within a generation. Its membership includes corporations, builders, universities, government agencies, and other nonprofit organizations. Since UGSBC’s founding in 1993, the Council has grown to more than 17,000 member companies and organizations, a comprehensive family of LEED® green building rating systems, an expansive educational offering, the industry’s popular Greenbuild International Conference and Expo (www.greenbuildexpo.org), and a network of 78 local chapters, affiliates, and organizing groups. For more information, visit www.usgbc.org.

About LEED®
The LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System™ is a feature-oriented rating system that awards buildings points for satisfying specified green building criteria. The six major environmental categories of review include: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality, and Innovation and Design. Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum levels of LEED green building certification are awarded based on the total number of points earned within each LEED category. LEED can be applied to all building types including new construction, commercial interiors, core & shell developments, existing buildings, homes, neighborhood developments, schools and retail facilities. Incentives for LEED are available at the state and local level and LEED has also been adopted nationwide by federal agencies, state and local governments, and interested private companies. For more information, visit www.usgbc.org/LEED.