Healthfirst Announces LEED Gold Certification for New Offices Designed by TPG Architecture
NEW YORK, NY, May 1, 2012- TPG Architecture announces that its new design of the offices for Healthfirst, a not-for-profit health insurance company, has been awarded a LEED Gold rating by the United States Green Building Council, or USGBC. The new offices occupy 172,000 square-feet on 4 floors at 100 Church Street in Lower Manhattan. Healthfirst is now expanding to a fifth floor as well.
One of the primary reasons Healthfirst chose this space was for its air and light; there are ample windows on all four sides and much of the space is day-lit. It was also important to both Healthfirst and TPG to obtain LEED Gold certification. As a company working towards improved individual and public health, Healthfirst’s commitment to environmentally responsible design and creating a healthy work environment was an enormous priority.
Not surprisingly, indoor air quality was important to Healthfirst. The designers specified – and received credit for using – low emitting paints and coatings, low-emitting flooring and low-emitting adhesives and sealants. Some other green aspects of the project include low flow water fixtures, high efficiency lighting, light occupancy sensors throughout the offices, high recycled content in furnishings, Energy-Star rated appliances, and, as noted, maximum use of daylight and window light. Over 90% of employees have access to daylight, even when seated, and most of the workplace walls are less than 42” high, so daylight blankets the interior. The rating also gave Healthfirst points for alternative transportation. The building, which is literally next to Ground Zero, is served by the A, C, E, 2, and 3 subway lines within a two block radius.Ten additional lines – the J, M, Z, A, C, E, 2, 3, 4 and 5– will be readily accessible when the MTA’s new Transit Hub on Fulton Street three blocks awayis completed.
Another trend illustrated by Healthfirst is an office design sensitive to employee flexibility and a diverse workforce. The space includes several training rooms, a prayer room for employees who worship during the business day, a wellness room for nursing mothers and others who need privacy, and several cafes and lounges. The majority of the Healthfirst employees are at Haworth work stations; the basic unit is a desk, table, task chair, upholstered bench and two guest chairs, all specified with low-emitting materials.
Both Healthfirst management and employees are ecstatic. Pat Wang, President and CEO of Healthfirst, said, "We could not be more pleased with the office that TPG designed for us. It is 180,000 square feet of science and art. Their science was to work collaboratively with our staff to meet exacting technical requirements regarding layout, IT infrastructure and other business needs. This included achieving LEED Gold certification through an energy-efficient design. Their art was to create an environment that is beautiful, has energized our staff and is a real plus for recruitment and retention. Jim Phillips and his team were a pleasure to work with and I appreciated their responsiveness to our budgetary, scheduling, and other needs."
About TPG Architecture
TPG Architecture was founded in 1979 and has grown from a small partnership to a design firm of approximately 180 staff, with offices in New York City, Long Island and London. While the firm's core competencies are in corporate and retail design, TPG has cultivated practice groups in education, broadcast, architecture, healthcare and branding and graphics. Current and recent clients include: HBO, British Airways, HSBC, Batali and Bastianich Hospitality Group, Weber Shandwick, Chase Bank, Missoni, SL Green, Specific Media and the National Hockey League.
Healthfirst offers low or no-cost health insurance to eligible individuals and families living in the New York metropolitan area and New Jersey. It provides a variety of government-sponsored health insurance programs, including New York State's Child Health Plus, Family Health Plus, and Medicaid, as well as Medicare Advantage. The Healthfirst family of companies includes Healthfirst in New York, Healthfirst NJ in New Jersey, and Senior Health Partners (SHP), a managed long term care plan serving Medicaid-eligible clients in New York City. For more information, visit the company's websites at www.healthfirst.organd www.healthfirstnj.org.