Tucoemas has been a member of the Tulare County community for nearly three quarters of a century. As we like to say, we are “local, locals”; this is our home. When it came time to think about replacing our outdated buildings and creating a new space for our team and our members, we wanted to make sure that our care for this community was expressed in our efforts. We wanted to be certain that our values would come through clearly. So, what did that look like in a new building project? Beauty and sustainability.
We know that constructing new buildings is something that lots of financial institutions do. And like other financial institutions, we could easily have gone out and done the same old, bright, shiny and maybe a little sterile space if we wanted to. But we thought we’d do something memorable [or different]. We wanted to create a space that would both wow and welcome. We wanted to use warm, natural materials and bring some of the outside inside. We wanted to create spaces filled with natural sunlight and greenery. We wanted to both catch the eye and warm the heart, and we think our new Akers branch has done just that.
But just as important as making a big impact, we wanted to make a small one too. So following the Leadership in Environmental Engineering and Design (”LEED”) model, we set out to make sure our new buildings are as sustainable as possible. We incorporated recycled materials, installed low use water fixtures, planted native vegetations and installed solar panels and high-efficiency HVAC systems. All of these efforts added up to about 40% less water usage, a customizable heating and cooling system and the ability to offset almost 80% of our peak electricity use. After a rigorous documentation and review process, we were able to achieve LEED Gold certification level, something achieved by fewer than a dozen credit unions in the country, and none in Tulare County.
We are excited to be able to share this amazing space with our friends and families; a space that shows our love and care for this community.