The patient-focused design of the 32,516-m2 (350,000-sf) St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in O’Fallon, Illinois, offers more space, greater efficiencies, and a modern appearance. Providing both the desired appearance and required performance, metal ceiling panels help create the building’s four exterior canopies.
A member of the Hospital Sisters Health Systems (HSHS), St. Elizabeth’s in O’Fallon replaces its previous Belleville location to better serve the entire Southwestern Illinois region. HSHS partnered with Kahler Slater to master plan and design the $300 million facility and the surrounding 48-ha (120-acre) campus.
“Design goals from the start included addressing wellness, systems and integration, and patient and staff experience throughout the facility. We additionally challenged the team to incorporate themes around our patron saint, Saint Elizabeth, and her history of serving the sick and the poor,” says Susan Holloway, RN, BSN, director of construction management for HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital.
Alberici-Holland, a joint venture of Alberici Corporation and Holland Construction Services, served as the project’s general contractor.
According to Kahler Slater, the design supports clinical excellence, the highest quality of patient care, as well as Lean-efficient operations, while reflecting St. Elizabeth’s 142-year history and faith-based mission.
“We wanted to create a warm, inviting environment throughout St. Elizabeth’s Hospital,” says Dave Sheedy, project leader and principal at Kahler Slater. “For the hospital canopies, we wanted the look of wood, but it is difficult to get natural wood approved as a material that meets the life/safety requirements. Metal is more appropriate for the outdoor environment and noncombustible.”
Achieving an acceptable balance, Kahler Slater specified linear metal ceiling panels with a bamboo color finish. The finished metal ceiling panels were installed in the exterior canopies on the emergency department, inpatient, and departure areas. Also used on the fifth floor, the exterior canopy’s metal ceiling seems to transcend the exterior glass wall with a visually uninterrupted transition to the interior chapel and physical therapy room.
“The resulting aesthetic is wonderful,” praises Sheedy.
She adds that the metal panels clip into place and are secured in place to meet the hospital’s Seismic Design Category D requirements. Once installed, the panels provide accessibility to the sprinklers, lighting, cameras, and the other components integrated within the ceiling and concealed by it.
The metal ceiling panels also are perforated and have a black backer for increased acoustic performance.
“We know that evidence-based design solutions that reduce noise can reduce stress and improve patient experience in the health care environment,” explains Sheedy. “Clean-ability is also key.”
“The aesthetics of the installation have garnered lots of compliments from colleagues and visitors. They often note how warm the material looks and really are impressed that it is actually metal because it does give off the feeling of wood,” says Holloway. “It is definitely a product that both looks good and works for dampening sounds, such as idling cars, under our entrance canopies.”
The metal ceilings do not contain organic compounds that would support mold and microbial growth. It also may be specified with up to 100 percent recycled content and is 100 percent locally recyclable at the end of its useful life as a ceiling panel.
The Alberici team employed 4D modeling, combining the project’s building information model (BIM) with the schedule to coordinate activities. As a collaborative tool, the 4D model was used to plan and sequence the project among the trades.
Along with private patient rooms for each of its 144 beds, St. Elizabeth’s offers an emergency department, state-of-the-art operating rooms, an advanced intensive care unit and inpatient rehabilitation. Additional inpatient and outpatient services at the new facility include cancer care, modern birthing suites, telehealth consultations featuring accredited stroke care, award-winning heart care, and much more.