FORT WAYNE, Ind.-3Rivers Federal Credit Union took two obsolete branches whose leases were up and turned them into "green" buildings that were built with local community involvement.

CU Journal is honoring 3Rivers with a Best Practices award in strategic planning for its use of a five-year strategic branch plan, a 20-year strategic occupancy plan in five-year increments, and a refreshed brand strategy. The CU worked with Seattle-based design/build firm Momentum to project employee space needs in tandem with a brand-driven, market-wide strategy and service prototype.

The CU reported that one of the primary benefits of this strategic approach is "quick and efficient decision-making on a variety of initiatives. With brand standards and current and thorough business intelligence of the market, any opportunity can be quickly weighed and acted upon which will generate savings, value and reduce risk for years to come."

In June, two 3,841-square-foot prototype branches were opened here. 3Rivers said the new branches replaced facilities that were "out of step with an evolving community" and slated to close due to lease terminations. The new branches are the first credit union facilities in the state of Indiana seeking LEED certification. A significant portion of the building materials used was manufactured within a 500-mile radius of the branch sites.

Simultaneous Construction

The two branches were constructed simultaneously to gain efficiencies in purchasing and delivery. As a result, the branches were delivered in advance of the targeted delivery date, and a cost savings was realized.

Both branches were community projects featuring local subcontractors working in an open-format managed construction process with Momentum. Local subcontractors were showcased on construction site signs.

"The branches celebrate the new brand of 3Rivers FCU," the credit union said. "3Rivers FCU has positioned itself for long-term growth and created clarity and consensus around capital decisions in the short and long term."

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