BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee’s new $299 million corporate campus under construction in Chattanooga is seeking a special green citation.
Chief Executive Vicky Gregg said the nearly 1 million-square-foot project on Cameron Hill is going for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification.
She said the project will be the state’s largest to receive such a designation that is aimed at sustainable building design.
“Our commitment to LEED is a reflection of our company’s investments in health and quality of life,” the CEO said.
Former NFL quarterback and businessman Roger Staubach, whose company is managing the BlueCross project, lauded the insurer’s efforts.
“It’s important to our company and BlueCross to do it right,” said Mr. Staubach, who was the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce’s keynote speaker at the Spirit of Innovation awards meeting.
Mrs. Gregg said LEED buildings, designated by the U.S. Green Building Council, have the ability to positively impact the efficiency of its new home office, which is expected to open in about a year.
According to the insurer, the new campus is projected to cut energy costs by over 20 percent, or $265,000 annually, than if it had been built to minimum code standards.
In addition, it can save 20 million gallons of water annually by using ultra-low flow plumbing fixtures and other measures, BlueCross said.
Mrs. Gregg also weighed into the ongoing water war between Tennessee and Georgia.
She jokingly told Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen the insurer is ready to use its hilltop location and a couple of Civil War-era cannons if Georgians cross the border.
“We’re prepared to fire the first shot until we get the National Guard here,” she quipped.
Mr. Staubach said innovation by his former Dallas Cowboys head coach Tom Landry is a big reason the team had a 19-year winning streak and was in the playoffs for 18 years.
“In the Seventies, we won more football games than anyone in the National Football League,” he said.