County Materials Creates Innovative Precast Panels for Baldwin Medical Center
The Baldwin Area Medical Center (BAMC) 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.
The Importance of Sustainability
The new facility is being designed to become a LEED Certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) facility. The LEED certification signifies that the new structure meets and exceeds established "green building" criteria. Building green ensures that BAMC will take the measures required to conserve natural resources, use recyclable materials, and protect air and water quality.
"We want this campus to be a model of sustainability. We will deliver services that go beyond addressing acute medical needs, services that help people develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle. We will do this in a facility that demonstrates ecological sustainability," says Alison Page, CEO of BAMC.
The new facility will use geothermal technology to heat and cool the facility and, eventually, solar energy to provide electricity. In addition, storm water will be retained onsite and filtered naturally with native vegetation. Healing gardens and walking paths will eventually be available on the campus.
The total budget for the initial project is $37.5 million. Funding sources include a combination of USDA Direct Loan financing and Tax-Exempt Bank Placement loans.
"The long-term viability of rural communities is determined by their capacity to provide a full range of health care services within those communities. With this ground breaking the course is set," said USDA Rural Development Wisconsin State Director Stan Gruszynski. "Baldwin area citizens can look forward to a state of the art health and wellness facility. We are privileged to be a partner in this investment."
In order to be able to offer all of the extra amenities, such as a fitness center with a therapeutic warm water pool and the ambulance garage, BAMC will need to raise $4 million in private funds in addition to the USDA loan and financing. Baldwin Area Medical Center is launching a capital campaign in community called "Wellness is our future! Sign On."
The first step in launching this campaign to the community was the 100 Women Initiative. This initiative gathered 100 women who each made a pledge of $1,000, payable over five years getting to a goal of $100,000. The 100 Women Initiative is putting this money toward the therapeutic pool at the new facility. In addition to this initiative, BAMC employees have started making gifts. Some lead gifts are helping to give the campaign some good momentum and support. As a result, nearly $300,000 has been pledged to date.
Kahler-Slater, an architectural firm, and Boldt Construction, a construction management firm, have been hired to design and build the new facility. Construction will begin later this month and is expected to be completed before the fall of 2016.
The early collaboration process utilized by the project's design and construction 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, two-story Frank Lloyd Wright inspired structure. However, after careful consideration, the material of choice was precast hollowcore concrete plank manufactured by County Materials' Roberts, Wisconsin, facility.
County Materials Corporation is a family-owned, American-based manufacturing company and leading source for construction and landscape products. Its headquarters are in Marathon, Wisconsin, where it was founded in 1946. The company has grown into a diversified organization that supplies products for growing communities at more than 44 locations across the Midwest.
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 fact 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 of 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. Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology 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 great job when it came to collaboration, helping coordinate the installation schedule, and coordinating all required penetrations," says 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."