Replacement Hospital Helps Heal a Community
April 1 is “April Fool’s Day,” a day to play harmless pranks on our friends. But for the residents of Americus, Georgia and
surrounding communities, that day in 2007 was anything but a joke. Just one month earlier, a powerful F3 tornado packing 150
mph winds ripped through the area, destroying lives and property including the Sumter Regional Hospital. No one who witnessed
the storm will ever forget it, and it took years to rebuild what the storm damaged in a matter of minutes. But rebuild they
did, and now area residents have a new replacement hospital—Phoebe Sumter Medical Center— which opened in December 2011. Multiple
Armstrong commercial floor products—MEDINTONE™, NATURAL CREATIONS®, Connection CORLON®, TimberLine®, Standard EXCELON® Imperial
Texture® and Safeguard Spa™—are installed in clinical areas, patient rooms, public corridors, staff and back room areas. “Armstrong
has a complete line of resilient flooring, making it easy to specify for a hospital setting where many types of floors are
required,” says Carolyn Blake, a member of the architectural team from Gresham, Smith and Partners.
Big Ideas Take Root in a Pecan Grove
For a time after the devastating storm, medical professionals operated out of tents, modular buildings and an interim healthcare
facility. But in October 2008, hundreds of people including former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former first lady Rosalynn
Carter gathered in a pecan grove to break ground for a new medical campus. Three years in the making, the new, 189,000 square
foot, four-story, 76-bed Phoebe Sumter Medical Center hospital features all private rooms, state of the art medical equipment,
a labor and delivery unit and a triage center.
The original hospital destroyed by the tornado was located in the center of downtown Americus and was land-locked. The replacement
hospital is on a Greenfield site that is conveniently located to Americus and regional residents and allows for expansion
in the future. Carolyn explains, “The new hospital and three medical office buildings are arranged around a town square, to
keep the urban character of the old site. Americus has a beautiful pre-Civil War downtown and neighborhoods. We created a
design that would fit in with the community but still meet the needs of today’s technology and clinical environments.”
A project this large and ambitious required a lot of resources, including a tremendous number of product samples and specification
aids. “Armstrong sampling is easy and fast, and the completeness of the product line makes it easier to find coordinates on
a project. We specify Armstrong on a frequent basis because we have been happy with the customer service as well as the quality
and performance of the resilient floors,” comments Carolyn.
George F. Richardson, Inc., installed the floors for Phoebe Sumter. Steve Harbers, vice president, says, “I am full of praise
for both Armstrong and the flooring distributor, William M. Bird and Company, for their good product support. This is a partnership
that works well.”
The firm also used Armstrong ceiling products on this project. Ultima, Health Zone Ultima and Cirrus ceiling panels are used
along with MetalWorks.
Coordinating Color and Design
The architectural team chose a range of Armstrong products that were consistent with the hospital’s design palette. Carolyn
explains, “We chose TimberLine® in a dark walnut color to echo the dark woodwork of the custom casework throughout the project.”
The TimberLine family of realistic wood looks includes traditional oak, maple, cherry and walnut, plus more exotic woods like
merbau and bamboo. Carolyn continues, “NATURAL CREATIONS® EarthCuts® patterns worked well as a coordinate to the terrazzo
floor in the lobby. And, the center of the two-story expanse in the lobby features an interlocking ring terrazzo pattern.
We were able to replicate that visual in patient corridors with EarthCuts in a complementary stone look.”
Proven Performers in Today’s Color Palettes
Some spaces in the hospital, such as the operating areas, required flooring with homogeneous construction and heat welded
seams for infection control protection. Designers chose Armstrong homogeneous MEDINTONE™ for its proven medical environment
performance, superior gouge resistance, high resistance to heavy loads, and for the product’s UV-cured urethane coating that
protects the floor’s appearance while offering low maintenance options for longer term savings. Five colors are used in the
diagnostics area, post-anesthesia care unit, pre operation area, clean core in surgery and critical care unit rooms.
The design team chose durable, affordable inlaid sheet flooring for the laboratory and pharmacy areas. Connection CORLON®
has excellent gouge resistance. The product has a UV-cured urethane coating for easy maintenance, too. Three colors were used
to create an attractive geometrical floor pattern in these spaces.
The ability to withstand heavy traffic combined, no polish/no-buff maintenance and stunning visuals prompted designers to
choose Translations® heterogeneous sheet flooring in five colors for the hospital’s emergency department. Back of the house
spaces are floored in the venerable Standard EXCELON® Imperial Texture® tile product line in an array of six neutral and accent
colors. The special needs of the decontamination room, including slip retardance for wet areas with bare feet or soft-soled
shoes, were met with SAFEGUARD Spa™ textured sheet flooring.
High Style, Low Maintenance Products
Designers had the flexibility to use more stylish products in non-critical care spaces, but the floors still needed to have
commercial floor performance. Carolyn says, “We chose NATURAL CREATIONS® for the public corridors and patient rooms in a variety
of ArborArt®, EarthCuts® and Mystix® patterns in warm, natural colors.” NATURAL CREATIONS luxury vinyl tile combines the best
of design and modern technology in one product. They bring the beauty of nature indoors by emulating natural flooring materials
in a flexible, easy to install and easy to clean product. A matte finish on the majority of the collection, along with natural
graining and surface texturing, enhances the realistic look and reduces the glare. The beautiful visuals are protected by
a UV-cured polyurethane coating that may eliminate the need for polishes and spray buffing in some applications, saving time
and costs with lower maintenance long term.
Seeking LEED® Silver
Phoebe Sumter Medical Center is one of the few hospitals in the country to seek LEED Silver certification. Armstrong floors
can contribute to LEED credit EQ4.3 low emitting materials for Indoor Air Quality. All Armstrong floors are also compatible
with Green Guide for Health Care GGHC-IEQ4.3. In the Healthcare industry, many owners are concerned with the indoor air quality.
With Armstrong, there is no need for concern. All Armstrong floors are FloorScore™ certified which means they have been tested
and meet the strict indoor air quality standards from the California High Performance Schools certification, which is one
of the most comprehensive and strict standards for indoor air quality in the nation.
LEED certification notwithstanding, Carolyn says, “We are pleased with the project and feel that it will bring a higher standard
of healthcare to the community. We typically do more contemporary designs, so the level of detailing required was a challenge.
However, it all paid off in the end. The client now has a beautiful, state-of-the-art facility that still feels at home in
Helping Healthcare Specifiers for More Than 100 Years
With more than a century of flooring industry expertise, specifiers have trusted Armstrong to provide medical environment
flooring solutions that meet their design, performance and budget needs. MEDINTECH® set the industry standard for homogeneous
sheet flooring when it was introduced more than 20 years ago for spaces requiring superior infection control, and Armstrong
homogeneous floors are still the industry leaders. Our Standard EXCELON® tile is a true through-pattern, through-color product
that still sets the benchmark of quality for this type of construction. Newer, high style products including TimberLine® heterogeneous
sheet and NATURAL CREATIONS® LVT have organic visuals that make healthcare environments look more natural and earthen to create
a comfortable experience. These are backed by the legendary quality and reliability standards. Medical spaces have always
demanded the most from flooring products—specifiers have always turned to Armstrong Commercial Floors to meet those demands.
Phoebe Sumter Medical Center
|DESIGNER / ARCHITECT:
Gresham, Smith and Partners
Standard EXCELON Imperial Texture, MEDINTONE, NATURAL CREATIONS Mystix, Connection CORLON