Case Study: North Tower at Mission Hospital
When Mission Hospital’s state-of-the-art North Tower in Asheville, N.C., first opened its doors to patients in October 2019, it marked the end of a five-year planning, design and construction process. The $400 million, 12-story medical facility accommodates 220 beds, including 97 in an expanded emergency department. The cutting-edge medical technology housed in the building will significantly improve the state of health care for the people of western North Carolina.
Importantly, the advanced technology in the North Tower is not solely confined to the medical arena. Spray-Lock SCP 327, an innovative, one-time treatment was applied by flooring contractor Bonitz to prevent the intrusion of moisture into the 630,000 sq. ft. of flooring in the new building.
“I think I can speak for everyone involved from Bonitz, Fishman Flooring Solutions and Spray Lock when I say that successfully completing this project was extremely rewarding because of the teamwork involved and the major difference the new medical center will make for the people it serves,” said Heidi Flood, Bonitz project consultant, who worked directly with Mission Health on the sales aspect of the project.
Lengthy Information Sharing Process
The approval process to use the product was long. It took over a year and more than a dozen meetings with flooring installation experts for Mission Hospital’s facilities personnel, general contractors and consultants, as well as its architects and designers, to understand the merits of Spray-Lock SCP 327 and agree to its use on the project.
“Most if not all of the members of the Mission Hospital team had experienced moisture-related problems in concrete slabs and they understood the high cost of remediation using traditional methods,” said Phil Ashley, senior vice president for operations at Bonitz, who oversaw the project for his company. “But none of them had any previous knowledge of the Spray-Lock SCP 327 technology that is spray applied on concrete slabs when they are freshly poured and they had a difficult time understanding how it provides permanent concrete protection from the inside out. So, we had to help them understand the workings of the technology in preventing moisture problems and why that was a much better outcome than reacting to a moisture problem after it happens.”
To help with the education process, Ashley enlisted the support of Bill Mabeus, executive vice president of Fishman Flooring Solutions, and technicians at Spray Lock, the manufacturer of Spray-Lock SCP 327. Both Mabeus and the Spray Lock representatives were actively involved in meetings with the hospital’s decision-makers.
Not surprisingly, the initial questions from the Mission Hospital representatives centered on cost – particularly when time is money in today’s era of fast-paced construction – and the potential impact of Spray-Lock SCP 327 on the project’s tight schedule. “When they learned that it was a time-saving, cost-effective technology that eliminated the need for moisture testing in the slab, they were very impressed,” recalled Mabeus.
Over time, the Mission Hospital team continued to raise questions regarding Spray-Lock SPC 327 and its efficacy.
“The longer the information-sharing process took, and the more questions we answered, the more comfortable the folks from Mission Hospital became with the technology,” Ashley said.
Mobile Spraying Units
Once Bonitz was awarded the job of preventing moisture in the North Tower’s concrete slabs, Ashley and his team designed and built two mobile spray units specifically for the Mission Hospital project. Each featured a paint sprayer equipped with nozzles specified by Spray Lock. The units, powered by portable generators, were designed for quick mobilization to avoid construction delays and could be easily lifted by crane operators from floor to floor in the building.
The first Bonitz application of Spray-Lock SCP 327 to the concrete slabs in the North Tower occurred in April 2017 and the last application took place in October 2018. Over the 19-month period, Bonitz returned to the project site on approximately 50 occasions to treat the concrete as construction progressed.
Flexibility and Quick Response Necessary
Because there was no set schedule for pouring the concrete slabs, Bonitz had to be both flexible and quick to respond. Many mobilizations were cancelled a few hours prior to schedule due to unfavorable weather conditions or construction issues. In some instances, Bonitz was notified to mobilize within a 24-hour window when the general contractor determined that a concrete pour could be worked into the schedule or an inspection of steel rebar was completed sooner than expected. In all of these cases, Bonitz was required to coordinate its work with the concrete contractor, as well as the concrete finishing company. The process required that the team apply Spray-Lock SCP 327 until saturation and then remove the excess product based on a visual inspection.
“We always had a qualified person on site to make sure the necessary materials were available and that the defined process was followed,” Ashley said.
There is a basic calculation to determine the number of square feet a pail would cover, which enables the technician to understand if the concrete is accepting the material as required. In some cases, depending on temperature and humidity, the amount of material per square foot had to be adjusted, but the team had direct contact with Spray Lock technical personnel to immediately address any concerns or questions.
“We became much more efficient over time,” Ashley said. “Some of that was due to slight process improvements, but a lot of efficiencies were gained by learning to work with all the other trades involved in the process. Once everyone understood their respective roles and developed relationships, it was much easier to complete the work.”