With the ongoing drought taking its toll on the Texas Panhandle, FirstBank Southwest recognized the immediate and long-term needs of water conservation projects. The bank acknowledged its responsibility and reputation of being a leader in the area and knew this project would have a great effect on the bank and city, and potentially motivate other local businesses to follow suit.
“Our staff and customers deserved a nice, new building, and when presented with the opportunity to choose a design with both ease of use and a water conservation system, the choice was clear,” says Smith Ellis, Chairman, President and CEO of FirstBank Southwest. “We have been so pleased with our water conservation efforts, and we encourage other business owners to seriously consider similar conservation methods when new construction is in order.”
Cleve Turner, Principal Landscape Architect at Turner Land Architecture, LLC., expressed, “FirstBank Southwest has demonstrated the leadership and forward thinking by making the investment to incorporate a design that conserves and collects water in the landscape at their Western Banking Center. It is a very positive step that is and will be good for both the bank and the City of Amarillo long term.”
Rainfall measurements from June 2013 through mid-May of 2014 totaled 10.07 inches at the FirstBank Southwest location. The xeriscaping and rainwater collection system installed conserved 90,000 gallons of rainwater that otherwise would have runoff into the city’s waste water system. The location’s permeable paving system and water collection tank allows 99.6% of rainwater to be collected within the entire system. Additionally, the banking center’s xeric plant palette and irrigation system requires 60% less water than a traditional fescue turf grass lawn.
Landscape Architect Jason Habeger from Turner Land Architecture LLC. commented, “We calculate the rainwater collection system was able to capture approximately 90,000 gallons of water off of the building and parking lot within the last 12 months since construction was completed. That water was then used to supplement the city water needed to sustain the landscape during this prolonged drought. With an annual average rainfall of 19.84 inches a year for Amarillo, the rainwater collection system has the potential of capturing 180,000 gallons a year that would be used toward sustaining the landscape.”
From everyone at FirstBank Southwest, thank you for making the first year at the new Western Banking Center a success.