Precast Panels Save Time, Budget on Baldwin Medical Center Project
BALDWIN, WI The Baldwin Area Medical Center project is a $33 million new health care facility in Baldwin, Wisconsin. It is being built to provide a facility that will better meet the needs of the growing community. Located at the corner of Highway 63 and I-94, the 107,000-square-foot building will include an emergency department, three operating rooms, 15 inpatient beds, and clinic facilities including radiology, rehabilitation, lab, and pharmacy. A fitness center is planned as a future addition.
The early collaboration process utilized by the Project Team led to expedient and efficient decisions that directly benefited BAMC. In their original investigation process, the team considered utilizing a steel pan system with poured concrete for the striking, 2-story Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired structure. However, after careful consideration, the material choice was precast hollowcore concrete plank manufactured by County Materials' Roberts, Wisconsin, facility.
Hollowcore was selected in lieu of a cast-in-place system because of its speed of installation; its ability to span longer distances without support, and the facts that no form work was required. It meant that the project could proceed far more quickly than it would have with poured concrete. This helped the nonprofit medical center stay within their budget.
In addition to hollowcore, County Materials provided some solid precast slabs due to loading requirements of some of the structural members; they provided support for the roof and in areas with longer spans.
One challenging aspect to the project was that the design included a lot of high ceiling elevations and mechanical penetrations for equipment such as exhaust fans and roof vents. Because the slabs were poured off site at County Materials' Roberts location, all penetrations needed to be located prior to the pour. 3D Building Information Modeling (BIM) was used to determine the precise location of penetrations prior to casting the 95,000 square feet of precast hollowcore panels used in the project. These openings were cut at the facility before hauling the panels to the job site. Not one application was misaligned, which was a testament to the smooth cooperation that took place between the design, construction, and fabrication teams.
"County Materials did a very good job when it came to collaboration, helping coordinate the installation schedule, and coordinating all required penetrations," said Project Manager Josh Christensen of The Boldt Company. "It's been a very successful project due to the hard work and coordination of the Project Team and the support efforts put forth by County Materials. We would definitely work with County Materials on future projects."