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October 2017

Mid-Michigan Health

Altro in the middle

Long gone are the days of drab and dull hospital interiors more conducive to raising patient nerves than squelching them.

Located in Michigan’s midsection, Mid-Michigan Health’s newest facility sought to not only be the center of the state, but an epicenter of patient care. Teaming up with the Midland, MI architectural firm Three Rivers Corporation and contractor SPACE, Inc., they put forth their plans for Mt. Pleasant’s medical hub.  

“Mid-Michigan Health had a vision to create an ambulatory center of the future,” said John Hill, Project Architect at Three Rivers Corporation. “An ambulatory center with emergency treatment, specialty treatment and preventative care all in one patient-focused environment.”

Therein lies the key: patient-focused. The facility needed to have the right care options available, but to have the greatest patient experience possible, the call goes far beyond medical equipment. Hill said that “Unlike many healthcare facilities, the building’s goal was to feel warm, bright and inviting,” and their answer didn’t come from above.

“Three Rivers Corporation was in need of a wood-look sheet vinyl floor that would meet cost, have easy cleaning for a healthcare environment and replicate the look of wood as much as possible,” said Wes Kohn, Associate Architect at Three Rivers Corporation. “Altro Wood met all those desires while also providing warmth, comfort and load-bearing capabilities.”

Altro Wood sheet vinyl flooring, in colors Autumn Maple and Vintage Cherry, was chosen to bring that warm and homey feel Three Rivers Corporation and Mid-Michigan Health sought after. They installed 2400 square yards in multitudes of spaces: corridors and exam and patient rooms, including Emergency and Short Stay departments; Infusion, OB-GYN and Musculoskeletal Clinics; CT-Scan, X-Ray and all other imaging rooms; and the first floor’s semi-public and staff corridors. 

According to the study of biophilic design, humans tend to feel better and more energetic when exposed to nature. Whether a patient’s window overlooks a garden or if their room’s design elements are inspired from the outdoors, biophilic design can aid in the healing process. Altro Wood’s resemblance to actual wood is a boon to biophilic design, able to aid healthcare facilities. 

Competitive products had been specified for operating rooms and were in consideration for the corridors and other areas as well, but did not fit with Three Rivers Corporation and Mid-Michigan Health’s goal of looking less institutional.

We felt the Altro products offered an excellent look while syill meeting the rigorous needs of a healthcare environment.

The end users are overjoyed with the look of the flooring, and it suits their needs in both performance and aesthetic.

Altro Wood flooring was a key element in getting the look and feel we were going for 

Posted: 10/9/2017 9:24:28 PM by Jesse Wade | with 0 comments

Achieve USP 797 + USP 800 compliance with floor and wall solutions from Altro

Achieve USP 797 + USP 800 compliance with floor and wall solutions from AltroUSP 800 will become official in December of 2019. Introducing multiple new requirements for pharmacies, the new legislation is intended to protect pharmacists, nurses, pharmacy technicians, and others from the potential carcinogenic and teratogenic effects of hazard drugs (HDs).

Your business is to develop and deliver safe and effective pharmaceuticals to the marketplace. Our business is to provide you with durable, hygienic interior finishes that will support your work.  Protect your personnel with a safer environment to handle chemotherapy medications and other hazardous drugs by achieving USP 797 + USP 800 compliance with Altro’s hygienic floor and wall system.

If you act last-minute to comply with the new legislation, you risk a slew of disruptive effects, including increased costs, inopportune facility downtime, federal litigation, and more. Minimize your risk by taking early, proactive steps to be compliant with USP 800. 

Discover our cleanrooms and laboratories page

Download the cleanrooms and laboratories brochure 

Posted: 10/25/2017 6:52:22 PM by Jesse Wade | with 0 comments

Skip's tips: The importance of acclimating materials and meeting job site temperature requirements

Have you ever had the joints in tile open up or peak? Seen a heat-weld in an Altro Whiterock panel seam split open and/or a floor seam split and open up? It’s all expansion and contraction!

It’s best to install flooring and wall cladding with the entire environment and all building materials at, or as near to as possible, to the temperature the area will see once in use. 

The lack of acclimation in installation materials, concrete substrate, sheetrock/plaster wall substrate and the building itself, plus the naturally occurring expansion and contraction of all materials when undergoing temperature changes, can cause problems like seams splitting. 

Floor tile cannot hold the concrete together and keep it from expanding (or contracting. Ever seen a concrete joint telegraph through a finished floor?). Also keep in mind that Altro Whiterock panels alone cannot prevent a wall substrate from expanding or contracting – only proper acclimation can prevent it. 

Many installers will install materials without permanent HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) up and running, and at temperatures during cold times at and even sometimes below 65° F. Obviously, inconsistent temperatures can cause issues with adhesives and the settling of flooring.

Why can’t you use water based adhesives at temperatures below 65° F?
  • the water cannot dry and evaporate out
  • the adhesive stays wet and does not dry
  • the adhesive cannot get sticky like it is supposed to
  • it never fully sets or cures
If you run clothes through a washing machine, and after it finishes you take the wet clothes and hang them up on a clothes line and the temperature is 65° F or less, do they dry? I think not! (And if they do it is very slow.)

In regards to the stick of an adhesive when things are cold, think of this – have you ever stepped on a piece of chewing gum that is stuck to the sidewalk on a hot sunny summer day? It sticks to the bottom of your shoe like there is no tomorrow and you can’t get it off! It sticks, well, like chewing gum! Now step on that very same piece of gum when the temperature is 65° F or below – wow, it doesn’t stick –l how can this be, it must be magic – nope just too cold for it to be soft and sticky.

Common sense: Follow the manufacturer’s temperature recommendations – and this is uncommon!

Technical tips brought to you by Skip Johnson, Altro's Technical Services Manager, with over 30 years' experience in the industry.
Posted: 10/25/2017 6:41:20 PM by Jesse Wade | with 0 comments