Ameribanc Savings Bank of Annandale plans to spread its name to the Virginia Beach area by buying seven branch offices of two savings and loan associations.

Ameribanc has agreed to purchase three branches of Mutual Federal Savings & Loan Association of Norfolk and four branches of Home Federal Savings and Loan Association of Norfolk for a total of $12 million. The agreement is contingent on Ameribanc being able to arrange financing before Dec. 31 and on the deal receiving Federal Home Loan Bank Board approval.

"Right now, we have four retail branches {in that area} that are strong in real estate loan operations. This acquisition will bring our deposits in line with our real estate lending operations," said James Harrison, president of Ameribanc. The seven branches Ameribanc plans to acquire have total deposits of about $147 million.

Ameribanc, which plans to hire all of the branch employes, expects the deal to be complete by the end of the first quarter of next year.

RCI Design Inc. of Vienna, an architectural, engineering and interior design subsidiary of RCI International Inc., has acquired Senseman/Vander Myde, a Fairfax architecture and interior design firm, for an undisclosed amount.

RCI Design "saw a market they were not able to fulfill," said Philip L. Vander Myde, managing principal for Senseman/Vander Myde. "They did not qualify to win large architectural contracts being advertised, like those at the Naval Academy, the Pentagon and major hospitals, because they had never done a major project. But when they bought us, they bought our portfolio," which includes the Naval War College in Newport, R.I., and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces at Fort McNair in Washington.

Senseman/Vander Myde is keeping its name, all of its employes and its office, while RCI Design has moved to its new acquisition's building in Alexandria.

Solarex Corp. of Rockville, under a contract with Sandia Labs of Albuquerque, is working to find ways to market the sun's energy. Value of the contract was not disclosed.

Under the contract, Solarex is "developing new techniques to bring high-efficiency solar cells to the mass market," said Ramon Dominquez, vice president of Solarex and general manager of its aerospace division. Concentrator solar cells -- which store the sun's energy so that it can be converted into electricity -- have reached efficiency levels of up to 28 percent in laboratory experiments, meaning that they convert 28 percent of the sun's energy into electricity, he said.

Solarex is trying to make solar cells with an efficiency of 20 percent on a large scale. This is "an attempt to produce high-efficiency cells which have commercial potential, rather than being merely laboratory curiosities," said Jerry Silver, project manager for this program.

The Army has enlisted Homequity Inc. of Washington to find new housing for its civilian employes. The three-year contract is worth $124.1 million.

The contract calls for Homequity to provide relocation services to 2,300 civilian employes annually beginning in January. The company also may have to attend to a backlog of 500 Army employes awaiting relocation.

Homequity guarantees to purchase an employe's home for its appraised market value, help the employe find a new home and work out financing. Prior to this contract, civilian employes relocated themselves and were reimbursed by the Army.

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