Eastman Corporate Business Center
Eastman Chemical Company is northeast Tennessee’s largest employer, with over 7,000 employees in Kingsport. As part of its “Project Inspire” initiative, Eastman wanted to develop a state-of-the-art corporate office facility that would promote collaboration, innovation, productivity, sustainability, wellness, and safety.
The site selected was located directly across from Eastman’s principal business offices, with a five-lane roadway (Wilcox Drive) dividing the corporate campus. Parking and connectivity were important design factors. Another design challenge was site drainage. Adjacent to a tributary of the Holston River, the site had a high groundwater elevation. Coupled with extremely flat terrain, the incorporation of green infrastructure features such as bio-retention or permeable pavers were not viable design options.
Barge Design Solutions provided master planning, traffic impact and parking studies, as well as civil, landscape, and site electrical design for the 290,000-square-foot building, creating a balance of greenspace and parking. The site design included a total of 733 parking spaces, with 37 carpool spaces and 22 car charging stations. In addition to vehicular parking, bicycle racks were installed to encourage alternative forms of transportation. To address the wellness goals for the project, the design included a 0.8-mile loop trail through the campus with connectivity to the City’s multi-modal path.
Sustainability features of the site design included LED lighting, charging stations for electric vehicles, native and drought-tolerant plant materials, and a high efficiency irrigation system to reduce water usage. The drainage design incorporated both surface drainage and a pipe system with water quality units. Large existing trees were integrated into the design for preservation, as well as to provide additional shade.
Safety was a key factor in the overall design. Vehicular circulation was designed to maximize pedestrian safety, and an enclosed bridge was designed as part of an associated TDOT project to provide safe passage across Wilcox Drive. This air-conditioned bridge provides direct access between buildings located on the corporate campus for employees, as well as access to the City’s multi-modal path for the public. Other safety features included security cameras, trail lighting, and emergency blue phones.
The final design achieved the goals for pedestrian safety, sustainability, and aesthetics identified at the onset of the project. This project achieved LEED Gold certification through the U.S. Green Building Council.
The Barge Factor
By having a long-standing client relationship, Barge Design Solutions’ knowledge of Eastman’s infrastructure, processes, and culture resulted in a well-executed design that achieved the client’s objectives.