Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee’s (BCBST) Cameron Hill Campus, designed by tvsdesign, is reaping the benefits of its LEED Gold certification. From abundant daylighting and views for all employees, to an annual savings of more than 20 million gallons of water, to the improved indoor air quality with outdoor air ventilation rates 30 percent higher than code requirements, it’s safe to say all 4,550 occupants are living the high life.
As BCBST prepared to consolidate employees from 10 different facilities in the Chattanooga area, company-wide surveys were taken to help management and the design team understand exactly what employees valued most. What resulted was a space tailor-made to their needs.
Not only does the campus include a wellness center, but four courtyards between buildings offer a variety of experiences such as a vegetable garden, a dry streambed that collects stormwater and a retention pond. A central courtyard offers Wi-Fi and elevated circulation bridges that connect the campus at multiple levels.
The project also accrued a significant savings and reduced waste during construction, thanks to a 25 percent reduction in columns and associated foundations, as well as an underfloor air distribution system that required less duct work than a typical space—cutting back on the need for sheet metal. Water-based and low-VOC materials, paints and finishes were also used throughout.
“As our company navigates the drastically and ever-changing world of total health care management, we constantly change as an organization to better serve our customers,” says Lisa Van Cleave, manager of facilities planning for BCBST. “We understand how difficult it is for a designer to step into our world, fully understand this constant state of change, and work with us efficiently to create an inspiring and functional workspace. To that end, tvsdesign has given an impressive performance!”
Also adding to employee morale was a new floor plan that brought a sense of openness and clarity to office workstations. At BCBST, only three rows of columns support the structure (as opposed to the traditional four). Break rooms and common areas are located at the far ends of the space, and sightlines span the width of the building, providing views to 90 percent of the occupied spaces. And a breath—or in this case, a view—of fresh air always goes a long way.