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Cookeville building gets first-in-the-state certification

Wednesday, Aug 31, 2011

The Upper Cumberland Regional Health Facility in Cookeville is a state-of-the-art building which meets high standards in energy efficiency.

The Upper Cumberland Regional Health Facility in Cookeville was awarded LEED – NC (LEED for new construction) platinum certification by the U.S. Green Building Council, making it the first building in the state of Tennessee to achieve this level.

LEED is the nation’s preeminent certification for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings.

The new $10.9 million, 50,733 square feet was a joint venture by Brentwood-based architecture and design firm Thomas, Miller and Partners (TMP) and Crossville-based architecture and design firm Upland Design Group (UDG). Nashville-based Hardaway Construction was the general contractor on the project.

Completed in October 2010, the $10.9 million facility oversees all the health departments in the 14 county Upper Cumberland region and provides regional medical specialty clinics, such as tuberculosis, women’s health, HIV and genetics.

“Early in the project the state of Tennessee tasked the design team with providing a design solution that would achieve the highest level of sustainability and energy efficiency. I believe that the team met this request with a new facility that the taxpayers of Tennessee can be very proud of for many years to come,” said Kim Allen Chamberlin, architect with UDG.

A major factor impacting the platinum designation was the willingness of the state to commit more upfront costs with the understanding that it would pay for itself over time and save significant amounts of energy.

The goal of the design team was to provide a healthy indoor work environment for occupants, reduce the use of potable water and save as much energy as possible. Ample use of daylight reduced the number of light fixtures required, a geothermal HVAC system uses the cooling and warming capabilities of the earth to condition indoor air and photovoltaic panels produce 2.5 percent of the energy needed to operate the facility. These three strategies combine to reduce energy demand by 43 percent when compared to typical code requirements. Additional sustainable systems include:

  • Collection and re-use of rainwater from the roof for landscape irrigation;
  • Highly reflective and energy-efficient roof materials for heat island effect reduction;
  • Diversion of 73 percent of construction waste from landfills;
  • Use of 88 percent wood products certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, which promotes responsible forestry practices;
  • Restoration of 100 percent of the site area (excluding building footprint) with native and adaptive plants; and
  • Exceeded local zoning requirements for open space by 165 percent

The design team focused on specifying local or regional materials, many of which contained high-recycled content. These were used throughout the interior and exterior of the building, reflecting the local region, promoting the local economy, and reducing the environmental impact of transporting supplies to the construction site.

The project exceeded LEED requirements for storm water quantity and quality treatment by using bioswales and raingardens across the site to promote infiltration and treat runoff by capturing pollutants before they enter local waterways.

The Upper Cumberland Regional Health Facility is also a recent recipient of a Green Star Award, the leading green awards for projects designed and built in Middle Tennessee.

A Tennessee-based team provided the design for the facility. I.C. Thomasson and Associates (Nashville) provided the mechanical, plumbing, and electrical design; Upland Design Group (Crossville) provided the civil engineering design; Logan Patri Engineers, Inc. (Nashville) provided the structure engineering design; and Heibert and Associates (Franklin) provided the landscape architectural design.

About Thomas, Miller & Partners

Thomas, Miller & Partners (TMP) has provided architectural, interior design, planning and sustainable design services for more than three decades. TMP offers master planning, programming, design and construction administration for clients in all areas of architecture with special emphasis on the healthcare, higher education, wellness/fitness, and institutional (local, state, federal government) sectors. For more information, visit

About Upland Design Group, Inc.

Upland Design Group, (UDG) has been serving the middle/east region of Tennessee for the last 34 years. Providing architectural and civil engineering design services to both public and private sectors within the region, UDG has developed a reputation for providing personal service to all clients, no matter the project size. With a strong emphasis on education and institutional facilities UDG has become a leader within the region by providing quality design solutions within our clients’ budgets. For additional information on UDG visit

About Hardaway Construction

Since its founding in 1924, Hardaway has become on the top ranked, most successful construction manager and general contractor firms in Nashville through offering clients a full range of services to include: preconstruction planning, LEED certified/sustainable building construction, construction management, general contracting, and comprehensive project management and design/build services. Hardaway is a contractor known for its versatility for creating successful project experiences for both public and private sector clients, building a wide range of facilities across most vertical market building segments. To learn more about Hardaway, visit us at
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