MAPLE GROVE, Minn. – Members won't hear the sound of a hammer when walking through the doors of Minnesota Building Trades Federal Credit Union's Inver Grove Heights branch, but they feel instantly at ease in the familiar surroundings. The 1,400 square-foot branch was designed by Eden Prairie Minnesota-based architectural firm HTG Architects to make members, which range from painters and brick layers to general construction workers, feel like they are at a job site. Everything from the tool gang box containing marketing giveaways to the orange construction fencing dividing the teller stations plays up the theme. Whimsical touches include large bolts serving as coat hooks; flowerpots and flowers made of screws and nuts; a ceiling that is partially finished, partially exposed with caged bulb construction lighting; and a sign on the bathroom door jokingly demanding that members "wear your respirator" when entering. In addition, careful attention was paid to selecting furniture that would allow members to relax without worrying about leaving dirty smudges or stains. According to staffers at the $75 million credit union, member response has been "overwhelmingly positive." -


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