Client News 12/10/09

Copper-colored metal canopies, columns and panels create distinctive design for new, Minnesota hospital

Opening this month, the Maple Grove Hospital in Minnesota features a distinctive, copper-colored exterior with custom, “Maple Green” accents. Painted by Linetec to withstand the demanding Northern climate, metal canopies, column covers and panels were manufactured by Quality Metalcrafts and installed by Armetex, Inc., both Minnesota-based companies. BWBR designed the new health care facility guided by the Green Guide for Health Care and the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED® Rating System.

Maple Grove Hospital

Maple Grove Hospital's copper-colored canopy

The $70 million Maple Grove Hospital is a joint venture between North Memorial Health Care and Fairview Health Services. Considered to be two of the region’s most trusted names in medical care, these partners worked with BWBR Architects of St. Paul, Minn., to design a hospital that meets the needs of the greater northwest metro area in an environment “where human touch and the latest technology come together for a safer, better experience.”

Along with a full range of emergency, medical and surgical care and wellness education, the hospital will offer such amenities as patient-set visiting hours, flexible meal plans and café, and valet service. Focusing on patient and family experience, the 301,000-square-foot hospital will have 90 quiet, private rooms. Each includes a large screen television, a guest bed, patient controls for temperature and ventilation, natural light and decorative finishes in soothing, earth tones.

“The hospital is located in a grove of trees. We chose the copper color to pick-up the color of the leaves changing over time. Copper communicates transitions – from the new copper color to a patina” says Jim Davy, principal with BWBR.

“The architect took three pennies from his pocket — new one, a medium-aged one and an old one. The finish was matched to these,” remembers Armetex‘s president Wayne Ripienski, whose office is located in Maple Grove.

Davy adds, “This also helps represent the transition in health care and in getting better. The metallic color also offers a brightness and life when the sun hits it.” The exterior color palette not only complements the natural environment, but also the neighboring ambulatory care center and medical office building. The design cues and colors continue throughout the hospital’s interior.

Maple Grove Hospital

Maple Grove Hospital's copper-colored column cover

The new hospital broke ground in the summer of 2007. The following summer, its exterior began to visibly emerge. D.J. Kranz Company of Plymouth, Minn., served as the project’s general contractor working closely with Armetex to coordinate installation. “Armetex did a nice job. The installation went well. The product looks great on the hospital. It blends in with the building next door and ties in nicely with the window system,” says D.J. Kranz’s president, Bruce Quam.

Ripienski notes, “For the curving, special bends of the column covers and canopies, Quality Metalcrafts produced these and Linetec painted them to match. We’re happy with their work. They do a nice job and stand by it.”

Accommodating the project’s construction schedule, Quality Metalcrafts manufactured and delivered the canopies, column covers and specialty panels in phases. “One-eighth-inch, aluminum-plate panels were the best choice for this project. There were design challenges on the segmented canopy that required intricate layout from both the field and manufacturing [teams],” says Mike Wallace, president of Quality Metalcrafts. “In addition, the project’s success depended on the panels to be finished in several releases. Through a cooperative effort, Linetec was able to paint the various releases and maintain color-consistency throughout the project.”

For more than a year, Linetec painted the material for each shipment. The majority of the aluminum components were finished in a dark copper color using a Fluropon Classic II mica coating. “Linetec specializes in the application of specialty paints like metallic and mica coatings,” says Tammy Schroeder, Linetec’s marketing specialist. “Two-coat mica paint coatings offer a unique vibrancy and visual appeal to any project. Mica coatings consist of a color primer coat and a durable pearlescent color coat that utilizes inert, non-conductive mica pigmentation, rather than aluminum metal flakes found in metallic coatings. Mica coatings are less sensitive to flake orientation dynamics, and nearly eliminate the risk of color variation found in metallic coatings.”

Maple Grove Hospital

Copper-colored canopy by Quality Metalcraft, finished by Linetec

Schroeder explains that Linetec’s mica PVDF coatings are “amongst the most weather-resistant of all finishes. They also are resistant to chemicals, which can be important in health care facilities.” For the Maple Grove Hospital’s aluminum canopies, column covers and panels, the finish is tested to meet AAMA 2605, a high-performance specification for architectural and heavy commercial applications. The liquid coating is applied in Linetec’s factory using specialized equipment to safely capture 100% of the VOCs released in the painting process, and to destroy these captured VOCs with 99.4% efficiency and environmental sensitivity.
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