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Steel Helps Fulfill Hospital Demands for Advanced Construction Technologies

From steel framed partitions, to prefabricated wall panels, CFS provides advanced solutions for hospital construction.


Prefabrication and modular construction are among the most cited advanced construction technologies being used for hospital design and construction, show the findings from the 2020 Hospital Construction Survey conducted by Health Facilities Management, a publication of the American Society for Health Care Engineering (ASHCE).

Among the respondents, 25% reported using Building Information Modeling, 21% reported using prefabrication (for MEP racks and patient headwalls, e.g.), and 11% reported using modular construction (of bathrooms and exam rooms, e.g.).

ASHCE’s 2020 Hospital Construction Survey included responses from more than 400 facilities professionals at hospitals across the country.

Off-Site CFS Panel Construction

Both prefabrication and modular construction are forms of off-site construction, which is gaining momentum in the US.

Exempla Saint Joseph Hospital

The Exempla Saint Joseph Replacement Hospital features 390 unique exterior wall panels. Many believe that pre-fabrication represents the future of hospital construction.

Prefabrication involves the building or manufacturing of component parts and assemblies at a location other than the job site. It typically involves the use of cold-formed steel framing. Here is an example:

Exempla Saint Joseph Replacement Hospital

Prefabricated CFS exterior wall panels for the Exempla Saint Joseph Replacement Hospital, Denver, Colorado, were assembled in a factory with green board (a type of drywall or gypsum board that is more water resistant than standard drywall) exterior insulation and interior spray-on insulation.

The CFS panels were designed with special drainage at the window headers and built strong enough to carry the weight of the exterior brick façade.

The Exempla Saint Joseph Replacement Hospital

Panelization cut the exterior wall construction timeframe by at least seven months.

“We built everything on a table four feet off the ground,” said Stephen Bradford, South Valley Drywall project manager. “Since we were building in a warehouse out of the elements, our construction was controlled, which allowed us to keep the panels completely square.”

Each panel for Example Saint Joseph was numbered and trucked to the site and installed using cranes and lifts. Installation of the panels took five months, Bradford said.

While it would normally take a year to complete the enclosure of an 831,000-square-foot hospital, prefabrication helped cut the hospital construction timeline by more than seven months.

Prefabricated Interior Partition Walls

Concerns about the hygiene, durability, and healthiness of interior spaces have increased considerably in recent years, notes the ArchDaily article, “How to Design Partitions for Healthcare Architecture: 9 Details of High-Performance Walls.”

Hospital Panels - Operating Room

Hospital wall partitions are made of steel studs and channels, interior glass wool, and external layers of gypsum board. Photo Credit: José Tomás Franco (ArchDaily)

Such concerns are pressing for health care facilities, since 74% of them commission their own construction projects, the 2020 Hospital Construction Survey has found.

According to the ArchDaily, the enclosures in hospitals and health centers must conform to a series of predetermined guidelines and dimensions, which derive from the standardized sizes of the different types of equipment used in hospital settings as well as the needs of each type of medical procedure.

Within the robust framework of the structural walls, the partitions – which are essential for subdividing a space – must be especially resistant to impact, fire, and humidity. They must also effectively mediate the acoustics between rooms and inside each room.

This is where the choice of materials is essential.

9 types of health care partitions made with CFS

Etex Chile/Romeral developed 9 types of partitions composed of a structure made of CFS, channels, interior glass wool, and gypsum board. This basic composition can be optimized according to the requirement of each health care project.

health care partitions made

Etex Chile/Romeral developed 9 types of partitions composed of a structure made of cold-formed steel framing.

Due in part to the the durability of steel studs, the partitions are:

  • Moisture Resistance
  • Impact Resistance
  • Non-Combustible
  • Designed for Acoustics / Minimal Sound Transmission

Need Help with a CFS Project?

If you have additional questions about incorporating CFS elements into your next health care building project, request free support from our team of experts. 

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