, October 11, 2010

This may sound odd, but the stairwells at Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield's new headquarters in downtown Des Moines are a significant feature of the $190 million building.

The five-story, 650,000-square-foot office building is the most expensive ever constructed in Des Moines, and its curved glass face will make it one of Iowa's most distinctive.

Chief Executive John Forsyth says it is one of the most efficient office buildings anywhere.

It was specifically designed to accommodate the health insurance company's workflow, with the expectation that Wellmark can save 5 percent a year, or about $35 million, in operating expenses, Forsyth said.

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