A new office building in Des Moines has recently awarded a LEED Platinum Certification form the U.S Green Building Council. The office building, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s headquarters has received the highest LEED distinction, while marking the fifth building in Iowa to receive LEED Platinum — among the 60 properties with the LEED designation.
In Armonk, New York, another commercial office space, the C. W. Brown Inc headquarters, has also recently received the highest award from the U.S. Green Building Council — the LEED Platinum Certification.
According to Wellmark chief John Forsyth, the company believes that the new 650,000 square feet office building is the largest LEED Platinum — worldwide.
Every part of the new office building, according to company information, is designed to promote energy efficiency and the over-all health and wellness of its employees.
Operating expenses for the newly developed office building are said to reduce by about 5 percent or $35 million — annually. The entire building is said to occupy two city blocks, which is located at 331 Grand Ave. It also covers another block for its own gymnasium and large two-level parking area.
Green products integrated in the office building include ceiling tiles made from recycled materials, efficient-window system that could save lighting costs, and other, while the old buildings erected in the site were relocated and to be used as residential buildings.
Wellmark spent about $250 million for acquiring the land, construction, and other costs. The project’s general contractor is Weitz Co., Inc.
Initial construction of the office building began during fall 2008, and was completed last fall.