StoTherm® Storm Systems Help Injured

Hospital Buildings Stand Up To the Storm



In 2004, hurricanes pummeled the west coast of Florida. Among the thousands of structures that were affected by the storms, there were two hospitals where water came into the buildings, forcing administrators to move patients out of their rooms, into hallways and eventually having to transfer them out of the building. There was one facility where the water was so high in elevator shafts that it forced the shut down of critical lift systems in the buildings.


Although these stricken hospitals were more than 150 – 200 miles away from Memorial Hospitals (Memorial Hospital West and Memorial Hospital East), in Hollywood and Pembroke Pines, Florida, their situation caused great concern. Hospital administrators started asking their construction department if the Memorial hospitals could withstand category 4 winds. Not knowing for certain, they contacted Bill Englebrecht of Universal Drywall and Plastering. Testing began to evaluate its wall system.


It was discovered that Memorial Hospital West would be more susceptible because the construction was entirely metal stud/sheathing construction. Englebrecht’s team began forensic investigations of the hospital and found the framing, in most cases, met current standards. Memorial Hospital East, a larger hospital than West, saw damage from Hurricane Wilma and the testing for a system to withstand a hurricane was investigated.


“We did tests on different wall assemblies for about a year,” said Englebrecht. “We spent thousands of hours testing building systems.”


Englebrecht and his team called upon manufacturer, Sto Corp., to develop a new system that would be Missile level “E” standards for essential structures. StoTherm® Storm Systems, a system with its roots in EIFS (Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems), was born.


StoTherm Storm Systems protect the building envelope from some of the most severe weather in North America, including protecting against damage from wind and windborne debris, two of the major components of building envelope failure during a hurricane. Upgrading new construction or an existing cladding to a StoTherm Storm System can help reduce loss of life, property loss and costly shutdowns. Components of the StoTherm Storm System for encapsulation of existing structures include: existing construction (which must be structurally sound), Sto Armor Mat XX embedded in Sto BTS-Plus, Sto Primer/Adhesive-B Adhesive, minimum of 1 ½” Sto EPS insulation board, Sto Armor Mat XX embedded in Sto Primer/Adhesive-B, Sto Mesh embedded in Sto Primer/Adhesive-B, and Sto finish. Its DP Rating is 166 psf attainable.*   


The $40 million project used 350,000 feet of StoTherm Storm Systems in creating a framing that meets new hurricane standings, according to Englebrecht. “The extensive project includes framing some buildings, enveloping the existing structure, taking off the original EIFS, and putting on the new Sto product,” said Englebrecht.


According to Englebrecht, this is a trend among hospitals all over the nation. “Many hospitals are having face lifts and want a new look to their building,” said Englebrecht. “Memorial hospital wanted a face lift, but one that would withstand a hurricane.”


Not only will this give the hospital a new look, but it will protect the hospital from water intrusion. Englebrecht and his team have used many layers including a 20 ounce mesh on the block, three inches of foam, another 20 ounce mesh, then 4.5 ounce mesh imbedded in primer adhesive. According to Englebrecht, this layering makes the exterior three times as strong as the hurricane code dictates in south Florida.


According to Charles Michelson of Saltz Michelson Architects, the product (StoTherm Storm Systems) is versatile and can adapt to any situation, from masonry to a metal frame, to everything in between. “The product not only strengthened the buildings, but it also improved the aesthetics of the hospital,” said Michelson. “The buildings were built over four decades and had different looks, and now the campus has a uniform contemporary look.”


The Memorial Hospital East project was completed in the winter of 2007.   Memorial Hospital West project only included coating over existing wall systems, but with East, Englebrecht and team took off the existing wall systems and put on the layers, including StoTherm Storm Systems, to protect it from future storms.




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*Final DP Rating and missile impact levels are partly dependent on makeup of existing construction.




About Sto Corp.
Sto Corp., based in Atlanta, Georgia, is an innovative world leader and producer of a broad range of versatile cladding and coating systems for building construction, maintenance and restoration. Sto Corp. is ISO 14001:2004 (environmental management) as well as ISO 9001:2000 certified and operates production plants strategically located to serve more than 200 distributor shipping locations across North America. At research and development laboratories in the U.S. and Europe, Sto continues to revolutionize the industry with the highest quality products and application technology.


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