City's New Public Works Building Receives Architecture Award

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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News item

City's New Public Works Building Receives Architecture Award

Posted: 04/24/2018
Public Works CenterThe City’s Public Works Service Center has received a design award from the East Tennessee Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), presented at the 2018 Design Awards Gala.

The 45,560-square-foot building, opened in 2016, houses 325 employees from the City’s Public Service and Engineering departments, as well as the City’s employee health center. Located off of Loraine Street, the building also has a covered bus stop on Knoxville Area Transit’s Route 13 Beaumont bus line. It features two community spaces, which can host public meetings of neighborhood and nonprofit groups. (To date, 389 community meetings have been held here.)

The state-of-the-art facility is a contender for the silver level LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification with its geothermal heating and cooling system, green roof and permeable brick pavers to filter water runoff.

“This award is a great tribute to all of the partners that collaborated on this project, ultimately improving City services and beautifying the area,” said David Brace, Deputy to the Mayor and COO. “We wanted our staff to operate from a building that mirrors the high caliber of services we provide.”

The building, which showcases large windows, abundant natural light and a fresh color scheme, was designed by BarberMcMurry Architects. The Public Building Authority oversaw the project and Blaine Construction served as the contractor.

“The open layout makes our operations more efficient, and it consolidates City services in a way that makes it convenient for our customers – one-stop shopping,” said Chad Weth, Public Service Director.
Weth added that a quick elevator ride to the City’s employee health center has helped crew members quickly address on-the-job health concerns that occur in the field – checking the severity of a pulled joint, for example, or treating poison ivy.
Similarly, the City’s Engineering Department has enjoyed the building’s open floor plan, which makes collaboration on projects easier and improves quick access to engineering files.

“I’d say communication is one of the first improvements supervisors noticed after the move into the new Public Works Service Center,” said Tom Clabo, Civil Engineering Chief. “The building’s seamless design has directly influenced how we interact.”