150 Boise Icons: Banner Bank Building

awebb@idahostatesman.comMarch 30, 2013 

Did you know? When former Vice President Al Gore came to Boise in 2007 to give the keynote for the Frank Church Conference on global warming, the reception took place, appropriately, at the LEED-certified Banner Bank Building.


Banner Bank, built in 2006, represents a modern take on Art Deco style. Check out those geometric, 1920s-style sheaves of wheat that decorate its entrance. Despite that stylistic nod to an earlier era (echoed by its historic neighbor, the Hoff Building down the block) the Banner Bank is purely modern.

The bank is the first LEED platinum building in Idaho, the highest certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

What does that mean in practical terms? The building uses 50 percent less energy. It's made from more than 40 percent recycled materials. Builders recycled more than 90 percent of the construction debris. Construction costs were on par with similar buildings using more traditional building practices.

One cool touch: The building's exterior is made with as few parts as possible.

The pre-cast concrete panels essentially "snap" together. If anyone ever decides to use the Banner Bank's site for another purpose, they'll be able unsnap the panels and use them again somewhere else.

Natural geothermal heat warms the building. Banner Bank is set up to harvest rainwater from the streets, sidewalks and surrounding parking lots. Graywater - wastewater from sinks and other washing facilities - flushes the toilets and urinals.

One other distinguishing feature: no light switches. The building has motion sensors throughout that activate lights when people are around.

Lighting also adjusts to the change of seasons. In the summer, when days are longer and brighter, interior lights dim accordingly.

950 W. Bannock St.

Anna Webb: 377-6431

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