The Prescription for Urgent Construction: Metl-Span Products and a Series of New Urgent Care Facilities
Urgent care facilities are popping up across the nation. Oftentimes, these small, simple clinics replace the traditional family doctor’s office. Urgent cares fill a crucial gap between the family doctor and emergency room, the need for immediate – but not emergent – care. Family practitioners don’t typically have the flexibility to quickly fit in a patient with acute but non-life-threatening problems like infections, fevers, rashes and injuries. But emergency rooms must prioritize the sickest, most critical and most vulnerable patients – those who might die without immediate treatment. Either way, without urgent care facilities, those urgent needs often must wait.
The emergency room is more costly, too. A 2016 study in the Annals of Emergency Medicine found that emergency room costs are approximately ten times more than an urgent care for the same diagnosis. Urgent care can also be even more cost-effective than seeing a family doctor when patients have high-deductible insurance plans. It’s no wonder that urgent care has enjoyed an increase in popularity in recent years. In a four-year period, Consumer Reports found a near 50% increase in the number of urgent cares nationwide.
An Urgent Need
To help meet this demand, southwest Idaho healthcare company Saltzer Health decided to open four new urgent care facilities in quick succession in Treasure Valley – the area around Boise, Idaho. Saltzer hired architect Cushing Terrell to design the new facilities. Cushing Terrell outlined their goals for the design on their site, which incorporated “new ideas in the layout, technological enhancements and a look and feel inspired by natural material.” They also took a practical approach to the building’s flow, with “private waiting suites adjacent to lobby areas, reducing the need for large waiting rooms [and] minimizing noise and the spread of germs.”
The design also called for a distinctive band of metallic color on the exterior, a custom shade that would set the brand apart and be memorable for patients and passers-by alike. It needed to be installed quickly and easily. Mark Guho Construction was hired as general contractor and saw Metl-Span products as the perfect solution for this. Having a previous relationship with Madison Roofing, Mark Guho brought Hans Weikl and his team on board to handle the installation. “We already had a business relationship with those guys,” said Weikl. “They picked us because they knew about the quality we provide.”
A Second Opinion
Guho’s interest in Metl-Span products led to the connection with Bain Associates, Inc. sales representative, Bill Thordarson. Bain had applicable experience installing metal panels on similar healthcare facilities in the Seattle area, including Issaquah Highlands and part of the University of Washington hospital. “I went in and did a Metl-Span lunch-and-learn to get everyone up to speed,” explained Thorardson.
“If an architect designs a project and specifies Metl-Span,” explained Thordarson, “we jump in and help with working with the general contractor, trying to get an installing contractor or subcontractor, quote and pricing information on the projects. We work with them to get an order placed, make sure we meet their schedule and get them samples for submittals.”
Apply Hot & Cold
The team worked together to identify the ideal panel for these striking new urgent care facilities and arrived at the CF Architectural Wall Panel in Midnight Bronze. Insulated metal panels offer many advantages over other construction options – advantages which suited this application perfectly. For one, they have superior insulating qualities – keeping both hot and cold weather at bay. They are also fast and simple to install, replacing the need for multiple trades installing multiple layers of sheathing on a building with a single, all-in-one product. “It’s a good fit,” explained Thordarson. “A lot of times with hospitals, they want the exterior done as soon as possible so they can start working on the interior.”
The CF Light Mesa panel chosen also promises an extended aesthetic life. Thordarson pointed out, “If you look at metal on a building, a lot of times it’s not perfectly flat; it does what’s called ‘oil canning’, where it’s kind of rippled. It doesn’t look perfectly smooth. Since our panels are filled with foam, they have a nice, smooth look.” That look is further accentuated by the custom Midnight Bronze color applied in Fluropon®, an advanced formula coating system which can stand up to intense UV radiation, corrosive environments and more while retaining its tint and shade.
Though Metl-Span products were new to Madison Roofing, they learned the installation procedure quickly. “We are officially a roofing outfit,” said Madison’s Weikl, “but we do work a lot with sheet metal. We install metal siding, facial soffit, and metal roofing. So basically, installing the product was nothing different than installing metal cladding on the building.” Clear instructions and custom-made materials also made the process go smoother. “Metl-Span will literally cut the panels to size, and then have what’s called shop drawings so that they’re just ready to go on the building as soon as they get there,” said Thordarson. “That helps expedite the closing of the building.”
As construction rolled along, the Madison Roofing crew gained quick speed and mastery. “The first two were done in a matter of months,” said Weikl. “That was enough time to needle out a few hiccups. When we did the third one, it was really easy flying in and out.”
In a matter of months, Saltzer, Guho, Madison, and Bain had worked together to bring four much-needed new urgent care facilities to the Treasure Valley area. They also forged new professional relationships in the process. “Everything worked out fine and everybody was happy,” said Weil. “It was a very positive experience.”
Metl-Span is a NUCOR® company. (NYSE: NUE ); delivering high-quality, durable and energy-efficient insulated metal panels designed for unparalleled performance to stand the test of time.
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