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Anthem Technology Center’s new LEED Silver-certified Class A office tower in Midtown, Atlanta serves as a hub for approximately 3,000 professionals dedicated to creating new capabilities that will enhance the healthcare experience for consumers. The 352,000 square foot office is 100 percent leased to Anthem, Inc., which operates Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia.
Developed by Portman Holdings, the building’s exterior was designed by Portman Architects and its interiors by Nelson Architects. The design team selected Rockfon ceiling systems as the design basis for the majority of Anthem office ceilings. Rockfon’s combination of rock wool panels with a metal suspension grid and perimeter trim provided the design flexibility, acoustical optimization, and durable attributes required for the high-tech, highly collaborative setting.
The interior design of the office tower encourages employee well-being and impromptu interactions. A central double-height atrium with staircase connects the two levels. Informal meeting areas and formal conference rooms promote group collaboration within the widely open floor plan. Amenities are provided on the 8th and 16th floors with dining options, a catering / prep kitchen to support organized events, fitness centers, outdoor patios and indoor game rooms.
Adding to the openness of interiors, office ceiling designs appear to float above the spacious floor plans. Giving the desired look, Rockfon Sonar stone wool ceiling panels feature a sleek, lightly textured white surface. The Chicago Metallic 4000 Tempra Exposed 9/16 ” Hanging System defines the visible grid pattern and showcases the square tegular narrow edge profile. Improving the buoyancy feel, the ceiling system is framed with a 4 inch Rockfon Infinity perimeter trim.
Respecting the variety of work styles and individual tasks, private offices and quiet corners designate separate areas for concentration and one-on-one conversations. Optimized acoustics were an important consideration in this interconnected office environment. Nelson and Newcomb & Boyd have guided the requirements for acoustic performance in all interiors.
To ensure the best sound experience and a productive workspace for Anthem associates, a sound absorbing ceiling system with a high noise reduction coefficient (NRC) has been specified. Rockfon Sonar rock wool acoustic ceiling panels offer a high NRC of 0.95.
“Many noise standards require or recommend that ceilings be at least NRC 0.90. In group workspaces, where people are talking and where noise levels and distractions are potentially high, an NRC cap above 0.90 is very important, ”says Gary Madaras, PhD, Acoustic Specialist at Rockfon. “The high sound absorption overheads in open spaces help control ambient noise, increase speech privacy, and reduce the number of people distracted by transient noise. In closed rooms, it avoids excessive reverberations. This increases the intelligibility of speech.
Acoustic comfort is an essential characteristic in the design of spaces that promote well-being, health and sustainability. In December 2020, the US Green Building Council awarded Anthem Technology Center a Silver certification for LEED v4 Building Design + C: Core and Shell. Certification is also underway for LEED v4 ID + C: Commercial Interiors.
Supporting LEED v4 ID + C criteria, Rockfon’s Three-Step Approach to Optimized Acoustics recommends:
1. Selection of the appropriate NRC rating for ceiling panels, absorbing sound and controlling reverberation and noise.
2. Selection of the appropriate sound transmission class for wall and floor-to-ceiling assemblies, preventing noise transfer between rooms using full height walls.
3. Selection of appropriate background sound levels, masking annoying or annoying noises.
In addition to acoustic performance, Rockfon ceiling systems support durability by maximizing the great Atlanta sun beaming through floor-to-ceiling windows with city views. The white surface of Rockfon Sonar panels reflects up to 85% of the light, extending daylight deeper into the heart of the office. Relying on more natural light reduces the building’s electrical and HVAC loads, energy consumption, and associated emissions and costs.
In addition to the natural lighting at the Anthem Technology Center, Rockfon worked closely with the ceiling design and installation team to accommodate 220 LED luminaires. These continuous recessed linear luminaires ranged from 4 to 26 feet in length.
The ceilings conceal the electrical, security and air exchange systems. Contributing to healthy indoor air quality and LEED criteria, Rockfon rock wool acoustic ceiling panels are GREENGUARD Gold certified for their low VOC emissions. The metal panels and hanging system are made with recycled content and are inherently resistant to mold or other potentially harmful microorganisms. Easy to clean and maintain, Rockfon rock wool ceiling panels are backed by a 30 year limited warranty.
The new Anthem Technology Center replaced a two-story building from the 1970s. A groundbreaking event took place in February 2018 and the project was completed as planned in the spring of 2020. Total construction costs were estimated at $ 150 million. .
“The Anthem Technology Center vision is the product of a successful coordinated effort of customer aspiration, entrepreneurship, design inspiration and entrepreneurial pragmatism,” said Pierluca Maffey , OAR, Int. AIA Partner, Former Director and Vice President of Design at Portman Architects.