Large overhangs, exterior sunshades, and interior “clouds” diffuse the natural daylight that enters through the clerestory.  The insulated Low-E glass pairs minimal solar heat gain with optimal visible light transmittance.  The interior lighting system includes digital controls and photo sensors that automatically dim when natural daylight sufficiently illuminates a space. The open building plan maximizes both daylighting and views and is also directly related to the credit union’s new service delivery concept.  In contrast to the wall of teller windows, cubicles, and private offices that have been used in the client’s previous branches, employees will use wireless tablet PCs so that they can sit down with members in comfortable cafe style seating to discuss their financial business.  Corporate education will cross-train all employees at this location to reduce the number of specialized employees required for operation, thus minimizing private offices.  “Member Rooms” act as small teleconference rooms providing privacy when needed.


The previously developed site is located just outside the city limits of Lakeland in a primarily sub-urban residential area.  An existing 998 square foot ice cream shop occupies the site with excess paved parking and area for storm water retention.  High tension power lines traverse the site creating a 100’ wide utility easement limiting the potential area for new construction.  The project is designed to wrap around the ice cream shop, increasing the area’s development density while minimizing changes to infrastructure and local traffic patterns.  Preserving the existing building can not only be seen as diverting 100% of its materials from disposal in landfills through building reuse, but more importantly maintaining current jobs for its employees and a service to local residents.  A traffic study proved that each business’s peak hours of operation were antonymic to the other.  The credit union is open until 6:00 pm during the weekdays and Saturday mornings, and the ice cream shop thrives in the evenings and on weekends.  The cohesive design increases cooling efficiency by reducing each structure’s exposure to the Florida climate.  While only minor cosmetic changes will be made to the ice cream shop, the finished project will portray two buildings, two businesses embracing each other in a symbiotic relationship.


To harvest rainwater, a multIple-cistern collection system will support both water closets and drip irrigation.  With rain water reuse and low flow fixtures, calculations show the building will use 80% less potable water than a conventional design.  The landscape design utilizes “Florida-friendly” plants that require minimal irrigation. Three 3,500 gallon cisterns will supply the site’s high-efficiency drip irrigation system with harvested rain water, therefore, eliminating potable water for irrigation.

 Photovoltaic Blanket

The roof-mounted photovoltaic (PV) system is design to produce 116% of the facility’s estimated energy requirement, qualifying the design at NET ZERO.  The “blankets” of PV modules are significantly elevated above the solar reflective roof membrane.  This creates a double roof condition that dissipates direct solar heat gain as well as the operating heat of the PV modules through natural convection between the two roof layers.