Mass. health plan earns top environmental honors for Boston office
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (Blue Cross) recently received top honors from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for the design of its corporate headquarters, making it the largest project in New England and 12th largest in the nation by square footage to be LEED platinum-certified, according to a release.
The LEED platinum certification used LEED CIv2009 – Commercial Interiors criteria.
The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, rating system, developed by the USGBC, is the foremost program for buildings, homes and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance.
In addition to designing office space to earn a LEED platinum certification, Blue Cross went further to create a building that reflected its commitment to health and wellness, officials said. The organization included features like a Wellness Center with yoga and meditation classes, flame retardant-free furniture, height-adjustable desks for every associate, nutritious and sustainable food options and compostable cafeteria wares and open internal stairways.
Some of Blue Cross’ environmental features include:
- Occupancy sensors and 100 percent LED lighting throughout the space.
- Carpeting made from 100 percent renewable material.
- 96 percent of seated spaces with access to daylight.
- 91 percent of construction waste diverted from landfill.
- Ergonomic workstations with height-adjustable desks.
Austin Blackmon, chief of environment, energy and open space for the city of Boston, praised Blue Cross for its LEED honors. The city ranks fifth among 1,324 metropolitan areas in the country for the most LEED-certified square footage. In addition, Massachusetts ranks first in the nation for LEED-certified square footage per capita, officials said.
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