St. Elizabeth's Hospital in O'Fallon, Ill., welcomes patients, staff and visitors to its new health and wellness destination. The new 350,000-square-foot hospital's patient-focused design offers more space, greater efficiencies and a modern appearance. Providing both the desired appearance and required performance, Rockfon metal ceiling panels help create the building's four exterior canopies.

A member of the Hospital Sisters Health Systems (HSHS), St. Elizabeth's in O'Fallon replaces its previous Belleville location to better serve the entire Southwestern Illinois region. HSHS partnered with Kahler Slater to master plan and design the $300 million facility and its surrounding 120-acre campus.

"Design goals from the start included addressing wellness, systems and integration, and patient and staff experience throughout the facility. We additionally challenged the team to incorporate themes around our patron saint, Saint Elizabeth, and her history of serving the sick and the poor," says Susan Holloway, RN, BSN, director of construction management for HSHS St. Elizabeth's Hospital.

Alberici-Holland, a joint venture of Alberici Corporation and Holland Construction Services, served as the project's general contractor. Von Alst Operating joined the project team in Nov. 2015, adding its expertise with specialty metal ceiling systems.

According to Kahler Slater, the design supports clinical excellence, the highest quality of patient care, as well as Lean-efficient operations, while reflecting St. Elizabeth's 142-year history and faith-based mission.

"We wanted to create a warm, inviting environment throughout St. Elizabeth's Hospital," says Dave Sheedy, project leader and principal at Kahler Slater. "For the hospital canopies, we wanted the look of wood, but it's difficult to get natural wood approved as a material that meets the life/safety requirements. Metal is more appropriate for the outdoor environment and noncombustible."

The Look of Wood
Achieving an acceptable balance, Kahler Slater specified Rockfon Planar Macroplus linear metal ceiling panels with a Metalwood II Bamboo color finish. The finished metal ceiling panels were installed in the exterior canopies on the emergency department, inpatient and departure areas. Also used on the fifth floor, the exterior canopy's metal ceiling seems to transcend the exterior glass wall with a visually uninterrupted transition to the interior chapel and physical therapy room.

"The resulting aesthetic is wonderful," praises Sheedy.

"The wood-look color was essential, but our products' quality, ease of installation and value also were important factors in their selection," notes Jim Frasca, Rockfon's district sales manager.

Sheedy agrees and adds that Rockfon's metal panels clip into place and are secured in place to meet the hospitals' Seismic Design Category D requirements. Once installed, the panels provide accessibility to the sprinklers, lighting, cameras and the other components integrated within the ceiling and concealed by it.
The metal ceiling panels also are perforated and have an Acoustex black backer for increased acoustic performance. "We know that evidence-based design solutions that reduce noise can reduce stress and improve patient experience in the health care environment," explains Sheedy. "Clean-ability is also key."

"The aesthetics of the installation have garnered lots of compliments from colleagues and visitors. They often note how warm the material looks and really are impressed that it is actually metal because it does give off the feeling of wood," says Holloway. "It is definitely a product that both looks good and works for dampening sounds, such as idling cars, under our entrance canopies."

Rockfon metal ceilings need minimal cleaning and maintenance. The metal contains no organic compounds that would support mold and microbial growth. It also may be specified with up to 100 percent recycled content and is 100 percent locally recyclable at the end of its useful life as a ceiling panel.

In total, 5,800 square feet of Rockfon Planar Macroplus panels were installed by Von Alst Operating on St. Elizabeth's Hospital. The Alberici team employed 4-D modeling, combining the project's Building Information Model with the schedule to coordinate activities. As a collaborative tool, the 4-D model was used to plan and sequence the project among the trades.

Teamwork and Dedication
"It was a good team and we worked well together," says Dan Von Alst. "It was a very good experience working with the product. It had the type of look the team was looking for."

"The owner seems happy with the product and Von Alst's installation came in on schedule and budget for our completion date," confirms Alberici's director Kristin Kalous.

Holloway concurs by noting, "Myself and the project team were very impressed and love how the panels have added to our new facilities overall 'wow' factor to everyone who visits for the first time."

Construction was substantially completed in August 2017 on schedule and on budget. A ribbon cutting and public open house was hosted in October. Speaking to the crowd, St. Elizabeth's Hospital President and CEO stated, "This is truly a wonderful day in the long history of St. Elizabeth's. With this new facility, our goal was to create a healing environment that combines technology and efficiencies to provide region leading, high-quality health care. This is a day to celebrate all the hard work and dedication that went into creating this beautiful facility, where we will continue our unrelenting pursuit of excellence and service before self as we carry the torch of our founding Hospital Sisters forward to our bright future."

In November 2017, the 56 patients remaining in Belleville successfully transferred to the new building as new patients began arriving.

Along with private patient rooms for each of its 144 beds, St. Elizabeth's offers an emergency department, state-of-the-art operating rooms, an advanced intensive care unit and inpatient rehabilitation. Additional inpatient and outpatient services at the new facility include cancer care, modern birthing suites, telehealth consultations featuring accredited stroke care, award-winning heart care, and much more.