LEED-certified, Passavant hospital expansion’s curtainwall matches style, performance, reliability of existing facility’s glazing system

Wausau, Wis. -- A decade after D-M Products, Inc. installed Wausau Window and Wall Systems’ curtainwall on University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s (UPMC) Passavant Hospital in McCandless, Pa., they returned to provide the same, dependable performance and familiar aesthetic for the hospital’s new seven-story, tower.

Building upon past success, the new UPMC Passavant Pavilion is certified to meet U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED® Rating System™, including natural lighting and outdoor views.

 Copyright 2010 Ed Massery

UPMC Passavant Pavilion provides increased capacity for advanced tertiary cancer care, advanced cardiovascular and neurosurgical treatments, and emergency medical care. The hospital’s inpatient volume has grown more than 30 percent over the past six years. The number of inpatients and outpatients who come to UPMC Passavant from outside of Allegheny County and outside of the state has doubled during this time period.


Specifically addressing the community’s needs, the new facility adds capacity for 88 new hospital beds, bringing the total beds to 399; adds 27,000 square feet to the Cancer Center, tripling the current size; and adds 21,000 square feet to the emergency department, doubling treatment capacity. Officials project that 300 health care jobs will be created by the expansion of UPMC Passavant, for a total of 2,500 employees hospital-wide.


The $100 million Passavant Pavilion project followed a strict, four-year design and construction timeline. P.J. Dick Incorporated serves as the project’s general contractor, bringing to life UPMC’s vision as designed by Burt Hill of Butler, Pa. It is part of a master plan, also developed by Burt Hill, to develop a more functional, sustainable and efficient future for UPMC’s McCandless campus and community.


UPMC Passavant Pavilion relied on building information modeling (BIM) tools to preview the project in three dimensions, while it was still on the drawing board. The BIM tools and early discussions are credited by building team members as contributing to the successful coordination between the architectural design and the complex engineering.


The 220,000-square-foot expansion was finalized in February and the 30,000-square-foot renovation is expected to be completed in September. The resulting efforts reconfigure the hospital’s main entrance around its key, architectural features: the glass rotunda and naturally-lit interiors. Utilizing the airport concept of separating arrivals and departures, Passavant’s entrances are positioned to naturally funnel visitors into the main registration area where they will be greeted by customer service representatives and directed to their destination.

“Curtainwall erection on this project was quite challenging, as a number of elevations were located in inaccessible areas, above lower roofs and tucked in courtyards,” stated Dick Macurak, president of glazing contractor D-M Products, Inc. “Wausau staged manufacturing and shipping sequences to enable our field crews to maximize installation efficiency and maintain the contractor’s critical enclosure schedule.”


“I like the Wausau system a lot. I don’t know of another with as fabulous performance,” adds Tom Demko, Burt Hill’s principal-in-charge of the project. Using the existing hospital’s Wausau window system as a benchmark, he notes, “We had a hellacious winter with no complaints, which makes my job easier. And, the patients get to enjoy floor-to-ceiling glass.”


D-M Products, Inc. installed 37,565 square feet of Wausau’s 8250 Series curtainwall to clad UPMC Passavant Pavilion. The aluminum-framed system features a 2.5-inch narrow sightline with an 8.25-inch depth. Highlighting the metallic tones and low-maintenance durability, the aluminum was finished by Linetec in clear anodize.


On the building’s interior, the curtainwall maximizes daylighting with staff lounges situated by the outside walls for infusion of natural light. Within the enhanced and expanded Cancer Center, windows also are installed in all chemo profusion rooms to allow improved access, visibility and natural lighting.


“Daylight and outdoor views have proven benefits to health care facilities,” notes Lisa May, Wausau’s health care market manager. “In addition to the improved sense of wellbeing and improved morale, studies report patients heal more quickly and use less pain medication when they have access to window views, daylight and maintain a sense of control over such comforts as lighting, ventilation and indoor temperature.”

Copyright 2010 Ed Massery 

“Every aspect of the project was approached with the same philosophy – to do what is best for the patient and what will allow the staff to deliver better care,” says Demko. “In today’s marketplace, hospital choice is consumer-driven. UPMC Passavant is sensitive to this and their high level of commitment to this mission made this project extremely rewarding for all involved.”


“As a leading health care facility north of the city, UPMC Passavant’s vision is to build the ‘hospital of the future’ for residents living in the communities north of Pittsburgh and beyond,” said Teresa G. Petrick, president, UPMC Passavant.


“Our goal is to provide patients and their families with world-class care without having to travel outside of their community,” said Petrick. “In addition to building a state-of-the-art facility staffed by renowned medical specialists, we also are focused on making a stay at our hospital the ultimate patient experience by offering private rooms, valet parking, concierge services, and room service. We are committed to providing the highest level of patient and family focused care.”



University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Passavant Pavilion; McCandless, Pa.

* Architect: Burt Hill; Butler, Pa.

* General contractor: P.J. Dick Incorporated, Pittsburgh, Pa.

* Glazing contractor: D-M Products, Inc.; Bethel Park, Pa.

* Glazing systems – manufacturer: Wausau Window and Wall Systems; Wausau, Wis.;

8250 Series curtainwall

* Glazing systems – finisher: Linetec, Wausau, Wis.; clear anodize

* Photos: Copyright 2010 Ed Massery




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