An exteriors contractor performs delicate surgery on a Florida landmark.

Sacred Heart Hospital, as the oldest Catholic hospital in Florida, has been a cornerstone of the community in and around Pensacola since the early 20th century. Built in 1915, the hospital was a joint effort between a group of local citizens and the Daughters of Charity, a religious order dedicated to caring for the poor and the sick, which was founded in 1633.

Like all such institutions facing the challenges and technological needs of the 21st century, the hospital has gone through tremendous evolution over the past century.

After 50 years in its original stone structure on 12th Avenue in Pensacola, the hospital relocated in 1965 to a new hospital off Ninth Avenue. Additional change was constant throughout the next few decades, with the 1990s seeing the greatest concentration of change, as the population in the area expanded, and the hospital continually updated its services.

And, like the hospital's patients, the buildings themselves needed care and attention.

"Our most recent project is a multi-million-dollar expansion and modernization program that includes two major additions to our Ninth Avenue campus," says Mike Burke, public-relations manager for Sacred Heart. "The Nemours Children"s Clinic was already on campus, but in a much smaller building. It was expanding its facilities and definitely in need of new space. The new six-story addition includes medical office space, and is tied in with the rest of the main hospital with a new lobby and conference center."

What ailed it

An EIF system had been used on the newer buildings due to the ease of application and for insulation protection against the brutal summer heat of Florida. However, the newer, more modern-looking EIFS-clad buildings were a marked contrast to the old red brick of the original 1965 structures. It was decided that the brick would also be covered with EIFS to give the entire campus a homogenized look, as well as to give additional insulation to the older buildings.

"We put new, more energy-efficient windows in the original hospital buildings and covered the brick with EIFS," says Burke. "Besides adding to the energy efficiency of the buildings, the EIFS also allowed us to upgrade the entire campus with a more modern look. We were able to easily add such modern architectural elements as beams and windowsill slopes. Now, the entire campus has been upgraded in terms of both a consistent, standard appearance and energy efficiency."

"The new additions had been specified as an EIFS project from the beginning," says Larry Villia, president of Villia-Warren Construction Systems, in Pensacola. "Some of the other, newer buildings had been builit using EIFS, so the hospital wanted the whole campus to have that same look."

Villia, a Parex Medallion applicator, says the Parex Standard EXTRA system was chosen for the new additions, and to cover the brick of the old hospital.

Standard EXTRA is a PB EIFS system that doubles up the protection of the building exterior. The first stage of the system is a seamless weather and air barrier installed over the sheathing and at all openings, as a shield against incidental moisture intrusion. The Parex Standard system is then adhesively attached to this "extra" barrier, with insulation, basecoat and mesh reinforcement and the variety of finish and colors as specified. The exterior of the system offers defense against the elements, doubling up the wall's weather barrier.

A pound of cure

As a Parex Medallion Applicator, Villia has the expertise necessary to make sure the application went off without a hitch, and to ensure the Parex system will give years of trouble-free service to the hospital.

Villia also had the opportunity to try out the new Parex KeyCoat product, which had just become available during the Sacred Heart project.

"Toward the end of the project, Parex introduced its KeyCoat product and we were able to see for ourselves how well it works," says Villia.

"Parex KeyCoat Liquid Membrane Adhesive is a direct-to-the-wall adhesive that firmly bonds EPS to the wall and also forms a rugged, continuous secondary barrier that prevents water intrusion," reports Tom Robertson, product manager at Parex. "As the industry's only direct-to-the-wall adhesive, KeyCoat makes EIFS installation simpler, faster and more profitable. KeyCoat also affords applicators the opportunity to offer a higher-value finished product to architects and owners."

"The major advantage to using KeyCoat on this job was the savings on labor," says Villia. "This project was complicated. Many of the areas where we used it were on soffits, in stairwells, and on large overhangs in the parking garage. KeyCoat really saved us a lot of time."

Using the conventional materials, a three-man crew can apply about 150 square feet of EPS per hour under normal job conditions. With KeyCoat, two crew members applied more than 300 square feet per hour, according to Villia, resulting in hours of labor savings and related expenses. And, because KeyCoat offers an integrated weather barrier, owners can specify KeyCoat to get added security on every job.

"The fact that the whole system was attached adhesively instead of mechanically made a major difference in this project," says Burke. "We are, after all, a hospital, and anything that can be done to cut down on the noise and debris of construction is greatly appreciated. The sound issue alone was one big reason for picking this type of system and application."

"The KeyCoat application went great," says Villia. "The hospital was happy with the application and the quality of the product and we were happy with its labor saving characteristics. In fact, we've been using it ever since our first application at Sacred Heart."

Med School

The Medallion educational seminar is organized by the Parex technical department and must be attended by key people from the application company, including the principal, the chief EIFS estimator and lead field people. The education program focuses on proper detailing of EIFS, specification, building codes and testing, new products, proper handling of material and current industry issues.

To qualify as a Medallion Applicator, an EIFS applicator must:

* Have five years of experience in the EIFS industry and be proficient with Parex products.

* Be financially able to bid large-scale jobs.

* Have the recommendations of three architects or general contractors, based on recently completed projects.

* Have a proven commitment to quality in his or her management and operating procedures.

* Attend a Parex Medallion Education Program every year and have the Medallion Applicators status reviewed annually.