Aetna Mail Order and Call Center - Adaptive Use Renovation


  • Adaptive reuse of a new, large Warehouse Building
  • 35,000 square foot space to accommodate an automated prescription fulfillment system
  • 600 person Call Center
  • Call Center Training
  • Imaging and storage operation for prescriptions

Owner: Aetna
Type: Mail Order and Call Center
Location: Pompano, FL
Area: 115,000 Square Feet
Completion: 2005

The Project:

At the conclusion of a lengthy Site Search, we assisted Aetna in determining that the most appropriate location for their second Mail Order Pharmacy was in South Florida.  This building was selected after an exhaustive search of available buildings in the Fort Lauderdale area.

The development of this location provided Aetna with an opportunity to study their process for prescription fulfillment from “end to end”.  With a goal of filling as many as 45,000 prescriptions per day, it was important to work every potential kink out of the process.  The key to achieving this goal was the installation and management of a high-volume pharmacy automation system. These systems can improve accuracy, capacity, efficiency and quality.  One of the many challenges of this project was to provide the design for all of the architectural and MEP systems required to support this high-tech system.  A large Call Center was required to support all of the doctor-to-pharmacy and pharmacy-to-patient communications that come with the fulfillment of prescriptions on this scale.  This 600 person Call Center carried with it all of the same requirements of any Call Center Operation such as a Training Center, large toilet core, and a sizeable cafeteria/breakroom.  A large UPS system and generator were required to provide back-up power to this facility to ensure that every prescription was properly delivered.

Locating this type of facility in a building which was designed to be a Distribution Center brought with it several unique challenges.  The Call Center with 600 employees required nearly 600 parking spaces.  A Distribution Center operation requires only a fraction of that number of parking spaces.  An empty, adjoining building lot was converted into a secured parking lot to accommodate a portion of the required parking.  As a Distribution Center, the rear of the building was, essentially, a wall of loading dock doors.  The Mail Order Pharmacy required only three loading dock doors.  The balance of the openings were infilled with a very “wind resistant” architectural solution to meet the building code requirements of South Florida.