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Project Focus: Grandview Medical Center West Wing Addition

Editor’s Note: Every year, the Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry receives many fantastic project nominations for its Excellence in Construction Quality Award, but not all can win. This month we introduce you to one of the entries in our 2014 competition. The challenges of the west wing addition of the Grandview Medical Center were met by AWCI member Dayton Walls & Ceilings, Inc., the company that submitted the nomination on behalf of themselves and other AWCI members who participated on the project.

AWCI’s Excellence in Construction Quality Award honors all the AWCI members—contractors, manufacturers and suppliers—who participate on a quality project. In this project, the participating AWCI manufacturers and suppliers were Building Specialties (L&W Supply), ClarkDietrich Building Systems, The Dow Chemical Company – Dow Building Solutions, Georgia-Pacific Gypsum, Owens Corning, Parex USA, Reitter Stucco & Supply, Inc., Specified Technologies, Inc., Triangle Fastener Corporation and USG.

Some general contractors are worrying that the subs they hire will go out of business before the job is complete. But what happens when the architect goes out of business in the middle of the job? That’s what happened on the New Look West Wing Project of the Grandview Medical Center in Dayton, Ohio.

Grandview, one of the largest osteopathic teaching hospitals in the United States, announced the $30 million project in 2008, and the job began Nov. 1, 2010. The addition, spearheaded by Danis Building Construction Company, is a four-story 70,000 square-foot wing for the hospital that includes a completely new hospital entrance, a redesigned two-story atrium lobby, patient rooms, offices, a larger cafeteria, a basement kitchen, a new gift shop and a holistic spa. It was the first renovation on the building in more than 25 years.

Karlsberger of Columbus had been hired as the architect, but on June 24, 2011, the 83-year-old architectural firm closed its doors and filed for receivership, leaving about 40 people without jobs and the Grandview job with some new unique challenges.

AWCI member Dayton Walls & Ceilings, Inc. started their work on the Grandview’s west wing addition job site only a couple of months after the architect went out of business, but they had started building panels in their shop long before then and knew what was going on. The solution was teamwork. “I was very impressed with the response,” said Robert A. Coyle, executive vice president of Dayton Walls & Ceilings. “Danis had John Westrup and Dave Kottmeyer as project managers and Ralph Knipp as superintendent. They worked closely with Dayton Walls & Ceilings Inc. and Reitter Stucco and Supply Co. to achieve a superior level of quality.”

Dave Kottmeyer, project manager for Danis, noted that Dayton Walls & Ceilings played a leadership role in getting the job finished without help from the original architect. “Dayton Walls & Ceilings, Inc. worked with Danis Building Construction Company and the owner to review potential design complications and proposed timely solutions that helped keep the project on schedule and on budget,” Kottmeyer said.

A missing architect was only a small part of the problems this job presented, however. The basement kitchen was the first area to be turned over to the hospital while work continued elsewhere, and the main entrance needed to be continually rerouted during construction. In addition, clearances from the existing buildings ranged from 12 inches to 42 inches—not a lot of room for an adult to work.

“The tower was construction between existing structures with extremely minimal clearances,” Kottmeyer says. “These clearances were such that portions of the exterior skin could not be completed until many of the spaces were occupied and the existing building demolished. Dayton Walls & Ceilings utilized a unique panelization system to overcome the extremely tight conditions and improve upon the project schedule.

How was all that pulled off? “We were fortunate to have an experienced foreman, Von Maxel, handle the project,” says Coyle.

Dayton Walls & Ceilings, Inc. framed the exterior from the inside of the poured concrete structure with prefabricated metal stud panels, which had sheathing and Tyvek already installed. Silicone caulk was used at panel connections and under bottom track to create a watertight seal. This allowed finishes to be installed in the kitchen before the structural steel was completed on the north side of the building (penthouse).

Maxel’s attention to detail ensured that Dayton Walls & Ceilings met the strict requirements that Tyvek maintains to obtain a 10-year warranty. A commitment to quality was also evidenced in the Level 5 interior, which Maxel’s finishing crew was able do with just the right blend of products.

Dayton Walls and Ceilings also had to maintain the construction schedule, job quality and safety while accommodating the hospital’s needs.

Finally, there were unique challenges in construction of the stucco canopy due to the design and weather conditions.

Says Robert Sutton of Reitter Stucco & Supply Co., Inc., “The modern design of the exterior, with numerous angles and curves, is magnified by the oblique canopies. Although the features do come together quite harmoniously, to the observer the individual aspects of the multifaceted structure can be equally appreciated. More than 1,600 linear feet of straight/curved aluminum vents and control joints is truly unique to the project. Being very complex from a design and construction aspect, the entire entrance was a challenge for all parties involved.

“The first task to overcome was scheduling, which is characteristically a difficult task in itself, for this phase it was particularly demanding and one of the most critical parts of the project. And, by adding an extremely complex scaffold design for the stucco application to the scenario just compounded the concerns. The leading edge of the upper canopy was over 40 feet above grade while the lower canopy was approximately 15 feet. How to complete the project both on time and safely (without hindering quality) became the main focus. Systematically working from top to bottom, Von Maxel and John Spangler knew this was the only way to overcome the challenges that would lie ahead. Through engineering a detailed plan, Von and John were able to complete this portion of the project in a safe and timely manner.

“The frame work and sheathing for the upper canopy system completed near the end of October. This placed the lath installation starting at the beginning of November—the worst possible time to begin stucco installation in the Midwest. The crews worked diligently to combat the incoming cold weather, but to no avail. Mother Nature won the battle. Obviously the dropping temperatures created the need for weather protection, which made preserving a safe environment (not to mention the installation process) even more difficult. When working on tall structures, getting materials and equipment to the crews is always difficult, doing so in these conditions creates new problems.”

Yet the AWCI members on this job joined together and made it work. The job was completed in March 2013.

“As I was walking through the busy lobby after construction was complete,” Coyle says, “I overheard a nurse’s comment about how great a job those construction guys did and how nice they were to work with. I am proud [of this] project that was completed by DWC and our subcontractor, Reitter Stucco & Supply Co., Inc. on time, with zero accidents and to the satisfaction of the owner.”

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