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Helen DeVos Children's Hospital, Grand Rapids, Michigan

The new Helen DeVos Children's Hospital by Spectrum Health has dramatically altered the skyline on Michigan Street's "Medical Mile" in Grand Rapids, Mich., and announced its intention to transform health care for children. Sharing this vision, the children of Rich and Helen DeVos plus more than 6,000 donors contributed to the $286 million facility.

Opened on Jan. 11, 2011, this state-of-the-art facility encompasses 440,000 square feet of dedicated, pediatric operation rooms, a pediatric emergency department and pediatric radiology department. The new 206-bed, 14-story hospital nearly quadruples the size of its predecessor to serve more than 1 million children throughout Michigan.

Designed to meet LEED criteria, this healing environment highlights natural elements such as land, sky, sun and water. Colored in blue and silver, the exterior's metal panels interweave to give the space the aesthetic of ocean waves. Architectural Metals Inc., Portland, Mich., manufactured the custom-fabricated panel system and Wausau, Wis.-based Linetec finished the material in large, continuous sections at its factory.

"There were 746 individual 'wave' panels on the project ranging from 5 to 10 feet long and 6 inches to 6 feet tall. The waves were made from 3/8-inch-thick aluminum plate," recalls Chad Comps, vice president of Architectural Metals Inc.

Linetec's finishing facility safely and efficiently captures and destroys the volatile organic compounds present in liquid solvent-based paints. "Finishing the material in our shop allows us to ensure consistent color, optimal performance and environmentally-responsible application," explains Tammy Schroeder, Linetec's senior marketing specialist and LEED Green Associate.

Linetec finished and shipped the aluminum panels in scheduled phases to Architectural Glass and Metals Inc., Byron Center, Mich. The field team installed approximately 50,000 square feet of finished panels and integrated aluminum louvers as part of the hospital's overall, high-performance, unitized, aluminum curtainwall system.

The project architects included John Bailey Design LLC, Dallas, and the Rockwell Group, New York City, with consulting architect/MEP engineer of record URS Corp., New York City. The general contractor was Turner Construction Co., Detroit, and Wolverine Building Group, Grand Rapids, Mich., served as the project's construction manager.

Architectural Metals Inc.,