Great Glazing: Columbia St. Mary’s

Photos courtesy of Dri-Design Wall Panel Systems

The basics: The 835,000-square-foot, $417 million Columbia St. Mary's in Milwaukee opened in October 2010 and marks the largest hospital construction project in Wisconsin, according to a Linetec release. The 312-bed hospital's exterior features an aluminum rainscreen system to provide protection against the harsh winter climate and high winds of Lake Michigan. The rainscreen system also assists in preventing moisture from entering the wall cavity, as well as mold, and offers high thermal performance to reduce energy costs. The project replaced two, aging hospitals—St. Mary's and Columbia—with a unified, cost-effective, modern facility that is expected to save about $19 million on annual operational costs.

The players: Owner, Ascension Health; architect, Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum; general contractor, CG Schmidt-Barton Malow Joint Venture Company; specialty contractor, rainscreen installer, Architectural Products of Wausau; rainscreen system manufacturer, Dri-Design Wall Panel Systems; rainscreen system finisher, Linetec.

The systems: Bone White Kynar finish to 136,000 square feet of Dri-Design's 0.080-inch aluminum panels. The high-performance 70 percent Kynar coatings meet the AAMA 2605-05 that requires paint coatings to meet rigorous testing performance standards, including 4,000 hours of salt spray, and heat- and- humidity resistance.