When it comes to construction, Mother Nature plays a significant role in the building process. It is her widespread control of weather that ultimately leads to the decision of how and when to build and what types of products to use. If not taken into consideration, weather could destroy months of labor and cost contractors and building owners millions of dollars.
With $135 million at stake, that was not a risk that Nelson Roque, program manager of Baptist Health, a not-for-profit health care organization, was willing to take during the construction of the Homestead, Fla.-based Homestead Hospital.
Construction of the 388,000 square-foot facility began two years ago and is near completion. While Homestead, located near the southeast coast of Florida, experiences warm weather, a major concern for Roque and contractors was that the area could also take a beating from Mother Nature.
"Weather was a major issue in deciding what products to use on the facility, especially with the hurricane winds we experience," said Roque.
Like many buildings in coastal regions, the hospital is designed to withstand hurricanes. As the first hospital designed to withstand category five hurricanes in Miami Dade-County, Fla., the exterior walls are eight-inch pre-cast concrete panels that are welded to concrete columns and the floor for superior strength and wind resistance. Tested to endure 221 mph wind driven rain, the windows are impact resistant and are built with the same material used in bulletproof glass. To protect against flooding, the first floor is being built nine-and-a-half feet above sea level.
With strong winds, rain and heat as major concerns, the roofing contractors at Miami, Fla.-based Murton Roofing Corp., needed to install a roofing system that could withstand whatever weather elements emerged.
"Right away we knew we needed a durable roofing product that could withstand hurricane winds," Roque stated. "We insisted on a product that has Dade County approval."
Raymond Lopez, technical/sales representative for Polyglass, the world leader in modified commercial and residential roofing products, and recognized leader of SA self-adhesive membranes with ADESO™ technology, recommended Polystick™ TU Plus as the roofing product. With Dade County approval, Polystick TU Plus is the leading underlayment for strong protection against storms. Proven in 2004 during Hurricane Charley, Polystick TU Plus remained adhered on a Florida condominium, despite wind speeds of 174 mph.
"Polystick TU Plus can withstand strong winds and hurricane conditions due to its aggressive self-adhering adhesive compound located on the bottom of the membrane," said Lopez. "This allows the membrane to achieve superior attachment."
Polystick TU Plus is manufactured using Polyglass' patented ADESO Technology, the leading self-adhesive technology in the market. Utilizing a "true" APP, SBS, and TPO modified bitumen compound on the top surface and an aggressive self-adhesive compound on the bottom surface, Polystick TU Plus offers unrivaled strength. One of the major benefits of Polystick TU Plus is SEALLap®, a factory-applied adhesive coating treatment on the overlap sections of the weathering surface that ensures that all the self-adhesive roofing membranes are integrally bonded at all seams.
Along with the high winds of a hurricane season comes the habitual rainfall. It was crucial that the hospital have a waterproof roof. Offering powerful leak resistance on the roof, Polystick TU Plus is a homogeneous rubberized asphalt waterproofing underlayment, glass fiber reinforced, with a high-strength polyester fabric on the upper surface.
An additional benefit of Polystick TU Plus is its ability to be exposed for up to 90 days to the elements. With the sun continuously beating down during construction and the constant threat of hurricane-like conditions, this convenience allowed roofers to adapt to the weather without damaging the materials. In addition to Polystick TU Plus' exposure time, it also provides excellent thermal stability at temperatures of up to 260 degrees Fahrenheit, perfect for the warm tropical climate of Florida.
Although weather was crucial in deciding what roofing product to use, the slope and roof design were also characteristics that needed to be addressed. With the slope varying from 7:12 to 4:12 on this multiple-level roof, ranging anywhere from 20-feet to 130-feet with three piers and three peaks, contractors did not want to use a hot mop system. A benefit of Polystick TU Plus is that there are no odorous asphalt kettles needed for installation, allowing it to be used on virtually any application, according to Lopez. Ideal for jobs that are concerned about fire issues, Polystick TU Plus requires no open flames or propane powered hot asphalt kettles for installation.
"We knew the speed of installation with Polystick TU Plus and that it is a strong self-adhesive membrane that would make our jobs easier, especially with the rounded style of the roof, "said Daniel Colon, project manager for Murton Roofing, Corp. "After past experiences with Polyglass, I have become very comfortable using its self-adhesive membranes.
Designed specifically for use under tile roofing systems, Polystick TU Plus enables roofing tiles to be mechanically fastened or adhered to the underlayment. The underlayment is highly puncture resistant and provides superior tear resistant surfacing and an excellent surface for adhesion of adhesive set tile applications. This is possible through an integral part of the ADESO Technology, Multiple Surfacing Solutions (MSS). This flexible manufacturing process facilitates application of a variety of customized surfaces and provides a wide selection of roofing solutions. The produced surfaces range from skid-resistant, Ultraviolet (UV) resistant, energy-efficient, non-abrasive, and all surfaces provide long-term exposure along with excellent aesthetics.
Along with the new roof, the Spanish Mediterranean style hospital with cupolas will provide enough space to meet the needs of a growing number of patients each year in south Miami Dade-County. The facility will include 120 private patient rooms, a large area for outpatient diagnostic services equipped with the latest digital technology, 44 exam areas in the emergency room and four operating rooms.
The hospital, consisting so far of nearly 27,000 cubic yards of concrete and 2,150 tons of steel, will include a 29,000 square foot medical arts building consisting of medical office space, a dining area and an auditorium. Welcoming patients and visitors at the main entrance will be a three-story glass rotunda and a large atrium. A 1,400-space parking lot, five lakes and a helipad also are included in the site plan.
Achieving grandeur space, aesthetics and hurricane protection starting at the roof, the Homestead Hospital is scheduled to open in spring 2007.