Minneapolis-based specialty contractor Harmon Inc. is providing Orlando Regional Healthcare’s new Hospital for Women & Babies with its hurricane impact resistant exterior glazing system. The 11-story, 273-bed facility blends a highly efficient, flexible layout with a warm, soothing setting. Abundant natural lighting, including oversized windows in patient rooms, further defines this inviting and nurturing space.

The two-year building project will cost approximately $100 million and will be partially funded by philanthropic support. When it opens in late 2005, the new hospital will be connected across the street via a second floor skyway to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children. Expanding the current women’s and neonatal intensive care services, the Hospital for Women & Babies will include a 112-bed neonatal ICU – making it the fourth largest in the nation.

To create its family-friendly healing environment, hospital leaders selected Jonathan Bailey and Associates for the architectural firm’s award-winning design of healthcare facilities. Similarly, Robins & Morton Construction was chosen for its regional healthcare expertise.

Also a familiar part of the team, Harmon Inc.’s Orlando office has been helping the hospital with its exterior glazing systems’ renovations for nearly 20 years. “We don’t take our relationship for granted. We treat every project as a new chance to shine and to build on our existing relationship,” said Dave Brasch, Harmon’s project executive. “For the Hospital for Women & Babies, we had a great opportunity to get involved early in the design build process and we had a hurricane impact-rated curtainwall that was ready to go.”

Brasch quickly added that the hospital’s inventive architecture would require more than just the right product at the right time. “The unique, circular design called for a non-uniform application of glass and aluminum panels. This created a challenge not only in maintaining the visual, architectural intention, but also preserving the impact performance.”

Early in the project’s construction plan, Harmon presented a proposal to install 100,000 sq. feet of its proprietary HI7000 Series pre-glazed, unitized, hurricane-resistant curtainwall system. Upholding the hurricane criteria, the glazing team recommended over-cladding designated areas with the panels to achieve the desired architectural look. Brasch elaborated; “In the event of high winds, the panels become sacrificial, but the integrity of the building would be maintained.”

The company reinforced its proposal with a full scale mock-up for aesthetic approval. Once approved and manufactured, the glaziers began installation in August, 2004; they expect completion of the curtainwall system by early spring of 2005. “It’s an unique application and we are very excited to see it come to life.”

Harmon Inc. works by the mission “for the life of your building” and services the entire lifecycle of the building’s glazed exterior – from new construction, to repair and replacement, to renovation.

Need More Info on Glazing?

There are products for weather protection as well as to mitigate damage from explosions or weapon attacks. In addition, special glazing treatments can be manufactured in or retrofit for officer and parking booths and enclosures. There are also wall and ceiling applications for protection from electro-magnetic and radio frequency interference.

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