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First United Bank

Fredericksburg, Texas

The first full mass timber project in Texas, First United Bank in Fredericksburg uses cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels that sequester carbon dioxide instead of emitting it. With a focus on cost-effective, local materials, the project is the first in the U.S. to use CLT panels with Southern Yellow Pine, a native prevalent to Texas. The recognizable deep roof overhangs optimize sun exposure throughout the year. Through these and other climate action strategies, Gensler’s Climate & Sustainability consultants helped the client achieve net zero energy.

First United Bank sought to create an open, inviting environment that serves the community and features a sustainable, timeless, and long-lasting design. To that effect, the Gensler team developed a concept that functions primarily as a community center — but also happens to be a bank. Sustainable practices are seamlessly integrated throughout the building. Low-flow plumbing reduces water usage by 45%, while rainwater is harvested from sloped roofs and cisterns to irrigate the native landscape; 250,000 gallons of rainwater can be collected per year. The combination of LED lighting, efficient HVAC design, and attention to envelope detailing allows for a 41.6% improvement over code.