Raising the Bar - Hospital Expansion Streamlines Approach to
Ensure Enclosure Continuity
Hospital expansions happen all the time. Three additions and an expansion vertically all at the same time while an existing facility is doing day surgeries and operating a 24-hour emergency service creates increased challenges for the design and construction team. When you strip the skin off the building and remove windows, the exposure can be tremendous – particularly when it goes on for months at a time and through the winter months. Standard practices or the way things have been done for decades just won’t suffice. Surprises just won’t be acceptable. Critical care functions and patient comfort cannot be compromised.
WakeMed North Healthplex in Raleigh, North Carolina has been transformed into a full-service hospital with a 131,000-square-foot expansion and an 8,550-square-foot central energy plant being added to an existing 109,250-square-foot complex. A five-story, 61-bed acute care expansion will focus on inpatient women’s specialty services, offering a full range of obstetric and gynecological services including comprehensive preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic care. These new WakeMed North Hospital services have been added to the facility’s existing emergency department and outpatient surgery, rehabilitation, imaging, lab and physician services.
The joining of the old with the new represented two completely different worlds colliding. BBH Design, a sustainable architectural design firm specializing in healthcare and education, faced the challenge of ensuring continuity throughout the building enclosure during the construction process and for decades to come. Not only was the challenge to transform this medical complex built in 2001 into a high-performance, full-service medical institution, but to pursue LEED Gold under the LEED for Healthcare (LEED-HC) program.
THE TREMCO SOLUTION:
Tremco was the only company able to provide a comprehensive air barrier system. Some manufacturers do not even warranty the use of their own sealants with sheet membranes. With Tremco, that would not be a problem. Tremco has fluid- and sheet-applied membranes, thru-wall flashing, primers, termination mastics, high performance silicone and urethane sealants and transition assemblies that have been formulated and tested to ensure compatibility . . . and long-term performance. Air barriers are only effective when designed as a holistic, continuous system. Simply specifying an air barrier membrane is not sufficient. Codes do not indicate how to achieve an air barrier system, and the details are left up to interpretation at the jobsite. If attention isn’t paid to the compatibility of the components within an air barrier system, a single sealant may be installed in all joint openings and in conjunction with all types of air barriers, moisture barriers and self-adhered membranes and flashings. This can be a recipe for disaster.
On WakeMed North Hospital, Tremco’s ExoAir® 220 Fluid-Applied Vapor-Permeable Air Barrier Membrane, ExoAir® 110 Self-Adhered Air and Vapor Membrane and Spectrem®1 and 2 Silicone Sealants comprised the above-grade system. Spectrem 1 and Spectrem 2 Silicone Sealants were utilized at the fenestrations, louvers and metal panels. Spectrem 1 Silicone Sealant made it easy for installers to provide a secure seal for dynamically moving joints at aluminum curtain walls and window perimeters, metal panels, and the polyethylene-faced self-adhering air barrier membrane.