ULI Members gathered on August 30, 2016 to learn how BCBSNC bought some dissimilar lab and office buildings on an L-shaped parcel and transformed them into a healthy, active corporate campus.
BCBSNC Director of Real Estate and Facility Services, Julie Schoenagel, said the driving factors for the relocation from the iconic rhombus building in Chapel Hill to the Durham campus included: decreasing redundancies in operations, saving on travel time for employee meetings, decreasing operating costs and promoting more employee cohesion and physical activity.
Architect Michael Stevenson, Perkins + Will (formerly Jacobs) and Landscape Architect Walt Havener, Surface 678, provided an overview of how they knitted together office and lab buildings that were different in design, color, use and age by incorporating exterior building and landscaping elements with similar materials and signage to create a sense of place. The L-shaped site, with buildings clustered at opposite ends, also had to be brought together, which was achieved by adding a central open space with three walking trails of different lengths and a gathering green. In addition to adding healthy amenities like a fitness center and locker rooms, an outdoor area was created to host yoga classes and boot camps as well as a weekly farmers’ market. Like their corporate customers, BCBSNC is concerned with improving the health of their employees and decreasing insurance costs.
After the presentations, moderator Jeff Marcus, BCBSNC Real Estate Manager, led a walking tour of the grounds.