First Federal and IBT Enterprises Lead the Way, Achieving First-ever LEED Certification for an In-store Bank Branch

USGBC awards first-of-its-kind LEED Certified designation

Jun 23, 2010, 09:00 ET from IBT Enterprises, LLC

CHARLESTON, S.C. and ATLANTA, June 23 /PRNewswire/ -- First Federal's newest location has become the first in-store bank office in the nation to earn LEED® certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

Located within the Lowes Food Store at 341 South College Road in Wilmington, N.C., the 330 square-foot facility was recently awarded the distinction of a LEED Certified facility. Developed by the USGBC, LEED certification is an internationally recognized system that verifies buildings or communities designed and built with energy savings, water efficiency, emission reduction and improved environmental quality.

"Building operations are nearly 40 percent of the solution to the global climate change challenge," said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council. "While climate change is a global problem, innovative companies like First Federal and IBT Enterprises are addressing it through local solutions."

The South College Road branch opened in October 2009 and is the first in-store facility to earn LEED certification. Dedicated to building a LEED-certified project, First Federal turned to IBT Enterprises, their provider of choice for in-store branching, to deliver a facility that met the USGBC's strict guidelines. IBT completed the project from start to finish, conducting design-build and construction services for the project.

"First Federal is proud of our basic level LEED certification," said Mark Tyler, the bank's market executive in Wilmington. "It's everyone's responsibility to conserve our natural resources and First Federal is definitely doing its part. We specifically designed the South College Road location with conservation and efficiency in mind and now we're leading the way nationwide."

First Federal earned points for a variety of conservation efforts, including reductions in power use, the use of construction materials with high recycled content, and installing energy-efficient equipment. As an in-store location, IBT also had to install sub-metering equipment to differentiate First Federal's metering from Lowes'.

"First Federal has made a cultural shift to be better stewards of the environment," said Tom Tedrow, Vice President, Design and Construction Services for IBT Enterprises. "Even though an in-store facility had never before earned LEED certification, we were convinced we could build a facility that met the USGBC's standards without sacrificing the needs of First Federal's customers."

About First Federal

Owned by First Financial Holdings, Inc., First Federal is headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina, and operates 65 financial centers in the Charleston metropolitan area, Horry, Georgetown, Florence and Beaufort counties in SC and in Brunswick, New Hanover and Pender counties in North Carolina.  The Company also provides insurance and brokerage services through First Southeast Insurance Services, The Kimbrell Insurance Group and First Southeast Investor Services.

About IBT Enterprises, LLC

IBT Enterprises is a leading source of forward-thinking design for the financial services and specialty retail industries. During its 25-year history, the company has consulted to more than 190 retail and 550 financial services clients on the development of thousands of workspaces. IBT Enterprises offers a comprehensive range of integrated services, including retail distribution strategy, market research, space planning, design and construction, performance training, and coaching. IBT Enterprises is a certified Woman Owned Business Enterprise and a member of the U.S. Green Building Council. For more information about IBT Enterprises visit www.ibtenterprises.com.

SOURCE IBT Enterprises, LLC



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