Case Study

DuPont Corian-Healthcare Case Study

Two Miles Of Corian® Saves Bozeman Deaconess Hospital $30,000 To $50,000 Per Year In Maintenance Costs

In 1997, Phil Sparks, Facility Manager of Bozeman Deaconess Hospital in Bozeman, Mont. was in search of a solution to a major appearance and maintenance issue. The walls and corners of a 60' corridor connecting the hospital's Out-Patient Unit, Emergency Room and Day Surgery were constantly in need of repair.

Sparks decided to try ¼"-thick DuPont Corian® solid surfaces in 48" sheets but this application only protected the walls. In order to protect the wall corners, Sparks ordered ½" Corian® strips cut to 3" and had them bonded together, creating a virtually seamless look.

The hospital staff, including the CEO, was so impressed with the color (Aurora) and the durability of the new wall cladding, Sparks decided to use Corian® solid surfaces to help address other maintenance issues affecting the hospital.

"Bozeman Deaconess Hospital saves between $30,000 and 50,000 per year in wall repairs alone since installing Corian® solid surfaces," said Sparks. "Corian® keeps our hospital looking new all the time and you just can't do that with paint and wall vinyl," said Sparks.

Additional areas where Bozeman used Corian® to address appearance and maintenance issues include the following:

Operating Rooms
Bozeman was so pleased with the look and feel of Corian® wall cladding in Aurora, they decided to refurbish two of the hospital's ORs with the same application as well. For this project, the design flexibility of Corian® was an additional benefit -- the fabricator was able to replace the metal air return grills in the renovated operating rooms with Corian® resulting in a low-maintenance, seamless appearance.

Radiation Area
Corian was applied on both sides of a long hallway in the Radiation area where the walls suffered damage from a huge protable x-ray machine transported through the hallway. Repairs to the hallway had to be made every two months. Corian® was used for 300' on walls on either sides of the hallway and solved the problem. Corian is solid all the way through. It resists chips, cracks and scratches unlike less expensive surfaces.

Nurse's Station: ICU and ER
In 1998, Bozeman was in the process of expanding their ER and adding two ORs when they decided to use Corian® in the operating rooms in addition to the wall cladding in the patient hallway. The architectural firm charged with redesigning the ER and new ORs recommended using laminate with a bullnose on the two new Nurse's Stations in the ER. But the bullnose edge could not be achieved with the laminate. So, Sparks recommended using Corian® in Aurora with a routed bullnose to match the wall cladding and achieve the look they wanted. The staff loved the Corian® edge so much and it looked so nice with the wall cladding that when Bozeman decided to refurbish the nurse's stations in ICU, they eliminated the laminate completely and used solid Corian® throughout the application. The fabrication team enjoyed working with the material so much they designed a unique clip board storage area that handles tons of abuse while keeping the nurse's and doctor's critical information organized and easy to reach, but not in the way.

Kitchen Sink Area
In the kitchen sink area where the pots and pans are cleaned, the back splash used to be painted white cinderblock. But with 180o water constantly splashing on the wall, the paint would not stay on the masonry. To solve this expensive maintenance problem and keep the area clean, Corian® was installed on the walls with a cove edge. Caulking was used to eliminate seams, helping to make the area easy to clean and maintain. And since Corian® is non-porous, it is resistant to water degradation and does not support the growth of bacteria, mold or mildew.

Cart Wash Area
The cart wash area of the kitchen is where the food carts are washed after every meal. With 180o water splashing around three times a day and the carts constantly slamming into the walls, the finish on the walls began to erode every few months. The painted cinderblock walls had to be painted twice a year to reseal them and prevent the growth of mold, mildew and bacteria. Sparks installed Corian® wall cladding over the cinderblock up to 6' around the cart wash area and the area has been clean and maintenance free ever since.

Cafeteria Trash Can Area
The area of the cafeteria where the customers leave their empty trays on large carts was sloppy looking and in constant need of repair. Customers were banging the large carts into the walls, damaging the vinyl wall covering. To address the issue, Sparks installed Corian® wall cladding around the trash can area. In addition, because the area looked so crisp and clean with the new wall cladding, special Corian® trash receptacles were designed to further enhance the cleanliness and functionality of the area.

Second Floor Patient Wings
In order to complete the clean design of the Corian® wall cladding and add to the functionality of the areas at both ends of the second floor patient wings, Bozeman chose to incorporate the Corian® Aurora wall cladding into the windowsills, keeping the clean, easy to maintain look throughout the hospital. In addition, solid Corian® sill was fabricated to incorporate the vents.

Day Surgery Patient Rooms
Corian® wall cladding was installed in the Day Surgery Room, a relatively small space with a high level of patient and equipment traffic, giving the room a beautiful, seamless look that is both durable and easy to clean. Corian® wall cladding was specified to run up the wall above 50" so that walls would not be damaged by any equipment used in the room (including recliners, stretchers, chairs, Ivs, etc). In addition, special cut outs were designed in the wall cladding around the oxygen valves.

Hand Rails
Bozeman uses DecoGuard® rails in most of the patient areas in the hospital but decided to switch to Corian® wherever possible. Not only does it match the new wall cladding but Corian® is more durable under heavy wheelchair traffic which often causes the DecoGuard® rails, made of plastic coated aluminum, to shatter or fall off the walls. Corian® can be designed to meet ADA requirements in hand rail applications and resists stains and the growth of mold, mildew and bacteria.

Source: Dupont