UMassFive College Credit Union's proto-model branch

Northampton, MA

PROJECT OVERVIEW Reading Time: < 1 minute

UMassFive College Credit Union’s proto-model branch

UMassFive College Credit Union maintains locations for students and employees of the University of Massachusetts college system through Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College. Membership may also be obtained through certain occupations or associations as well. Established in 1967 as a one branch office by faculty members, the bank has grown to include four physical locations, a full service call center, and online capabilities.

The Northampton Credit Union, home to Hampshire College, was a great pit stop for making deposits and withdrawals during the often hectic days of college life. Taking into consideration the opportunity to offer more services not just to the students, but faculty members as well, board advisors were budgeting for more space and patiently waiting for the right location to make it available.

The UMassFive College Federal Credit Union proto-model branch build was designed to support their long-term goals and growth. This new branch build has allowed UMassFive to:

  • Provide space and an environment that supports the needs of staff and members.
  • Deliver a new experience through digital signage, interior design and environmental graphics.
  • Grow their financial offerings to provide a deeper level of financial support to members.


  • UMassFive College Federal Credit Union

financial institution type

  • Credit Union



  • Digital signage
  • ATM surrounds
  • Fabric graphics
  • Brand treatment

the challenge

Appeal to everyone

The timing was ideal, yet the challenge soon became how to design a multifunctional space which appealed to college youth and faculty members of varying generations and financial requirements. In need of a teller line, and areas to perform loan counseling and sign-ups, management needed an all-in-one designer, architect, project manager, and marketer. They were running up against a deadline, and wanted to work with a provider who was close to home, could be on-site to manage the project, and have owner involvement.

A table built into the wall, facing out a window.
Two men sitting at their desks working.

every bit matters

New proto-model branch

After completing several projects for UMassFive College Federal Credit Union, including a main office renovation, operations center and three branch projects, Element designed and build this new eye-catching 1,800 square foot proto-model branch. This full-service branch occupies approximately 1/2 acre, realizing cost savings for both land and construction. Featuring cash recyclers, universal associates, a drive-up ITM and a 24 hour vestibule ITM for extended member service hours, this branch is on the forefront of branch technology and member service.

The Credit Union proto-model branch project provided them the ability to reach members in a way they never could before. They incorporated the signature environmental graphic package which included wall paper, wall signs, and digital signage as well. Through the redesign, members would now be able to realize a more personal banking experience and notice there was much more to offer beyond the basic checking account.


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