DESIGN AND MATERIALS
Design: Suggested by the Medical Center’s 146-acres of wooded property, design choices for the new facility’s colors, materials, surfaces, furnishings and art have been carefully coordinated to reflect the natural environment and create a comforting and calm atmosphere, while conforming to code requirements and the need for long service under constant use.
Furniture: Furniture was selected for durability, cleanability, function and appearance. For example, waiting room chairs were required to be workable for everyone, including those who can’t move very easily. They have sturdy arms with open sides that won’t become ‘crumbcatchers,’ and they have a molded, non-upholstered grip on the front of the arm for people who need to boost themselves to a standing position.
Materials: Practical considerations ruled choices for flooring, countertop and wall materials, but these surfaces also harmonize with surroundings. Cost-conscious laminates were selected for lighter-use areas, and solid surfaces such as Corian®, tile or granite for areas that are typically wet, subject to a constant traffic, or if code requires cleanability and no scratches.
Patient areas have sheet rubber floors, which can be damp-mopped and will never require stripping and refinishing. Low maintenance reduces interruptions to the Medical Center’s round-the-clock operations. It also benefits the environment because rubber is a renewable material that requires no refinishing, and thus no volatile organic compounds. Staff working long shifts also have less fatigue versus walking on hard floors.
Every door handle in the new building has an antimicrobial coating that inhibits the growth of surface bacteria. The special handles were a significant investment in increased safety for all who use the buildings.
Brick exterior: Outside the building, the two-toned brick exterior features trim and accents of engineered stone, a composite of rock and resin. The top floor is clad with an exterior finishing insulation system (EFIS), combining insulation and a colored coating that resembles stone, but is lighter in weight and more cost-effective.
Walkways: Walkways of exposed colored aggregate serve the visitor drop-off and handicapped parking areas as well as the main office, maternity and employee entrances. These areas also include the welcome feature of automatic snow-melting to reduce potential for slips and falls in winter weather.
Landscaping: Enhancing the front entrance will be high-profile landscaping featuring large shrubs, stone and ornamental grasses. In direct view of the hospital entrance lobby, four blue spruce trees will be planted to serve as additional Love Light Trees, and future tree-lighting ceremonies may be held indoors.
MidMichigan contracted with an internationally recognized health care design firm, HDR Architecture, Inc., of Chicago, for this project. Skanska USA Building, Inc., of Portage, Mich., managed the construction.