The Metro Public Health Department’s (MPHD) Lentz Public Health Center has successfully served the Metro Nashville community for more than 50 years. Their mission — “to protect and improve the health and well-being of all people in Metropolitan Nashville” — is evident in the dedication and energy of their employees as well as the vastness of the programs that are accessible to the community. However, due to its age, structural damage, and environmental concerns, the facility had become a limitation to the continued advancement in service that MPHD seeks to provide. The MPHD’s goal is to act as a good steward of both the environment and of the taxpayer’s dollars by providing a first-class facility that utilizes sustainable and smart building design solutions.
HCA, Inc., in partnership with the MPHD, selected Gresham Smith to provide architectural, engineering, and workplace strategy services for the new 106,000-square-foot replacement facility. The replacement facility includes a unique combination of administrative office space and health clinics, and will provide visitors and employees a safer, healthier, and updated facility. Gresham Smith's multi-disciplinary corporate and healthcare experts collaborated to develop a blended approach that includes consulting expertise in workplace design and clinic process mapping.
“From the way the building is oriented on the site, to the open and light-filled three-story lobby — the design of this building was focused on creating an inviting and welcoming place for the public,” said Ann Trent, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, senior architect at Gresham Smith. “We aimed to design a healthy building that itself would support the MPHD vision to promote and encourage better health. That included not only thoughtful clinic and administrative space layout, but energy efficient and site maximizing design strategies. It is rewarding to see how the staff and public are interacting and engaging with this facility and its amenities.”
A monumental stair in the main lobby encourages staff and visitors to walk versus taking an elevator. Further promoting movement and activity for employees, designers incorporated an indoor walking loop, a one-fourth mile outdoor walking loop and a fitness center. A demonstration kitchen in the Women, Infants, and Children’s clinic allows for hands-on education and training related to healthy eating, while a multi-purpose gathering room and large conference room aid in the hosting of various community programs and collaborations.
Designed for LEED Silver certification, significant energy conservation and reduction measures were incorporated, including a building envelope design that conforms to IECC 2009 — outperforming the requirements of Metro’s current code. Additional sustainable elements include electrical vehicle charging stations to encourage alternative fuel use and the utilization of strategic water supply strategies, such as cisterns to collect rain and condensate water for irrigation.
The new facility enhances accessibility of services and flexibility for patients, expresses a culture of compassion and caring towards a diverse community, and sets an example for healthy living.