From left, hardhatted bankers Jay Lytle and Robert Yohanan of First Bank & Trust unveil their plans for a LEED-certified bank in Skokie. Branch managers David Putrus, center and Luann Stempel, right, flank Skokie Mayor George Van Duesen.

Evanston’s community bank, which already has several branches, including one in Skokie, broke ground last week for a LEED-certified building on the southwest corner of Dempster Street and Crawford Avenue in Skokie. Bank officials say they hope it will meet the standards for gold certification for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, a designation by the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute.

Designed by Evanston-based Behles + Behles, the new bank will have a geothermal heating and cooling system that uses no fossil fuels, a “living” roof and energy-efficient lighting. Architect Joseph Behles said the living roof would have either native plants or plants that have adapted to the Chicago-area climate, so they would need little watering. The year-round green roof will also use most storm water, he said, minimizing runoff.

Many of the materials used in the building – such as ceramic tiles and wood – will be from either reclaimed or certified-renewable sources, he added. Most of the materials taken from the construction site were sorted and salvaged for re-use, where possible, he said.

The majority of exterior and interior construction materials will come from recycled materials and certified renewable forests, Mr. Behles said.