The New Parkland Hospital Is Already a Dallas Landmark

Parkland Memorial Hospital is located on a 64-acre health care campus in Dallas. The 2.1 million-square-foot complex includes an 862-bed, full-service acute-care facility. Photos: Aerial Photography Inc.

When it was time to replace the Parkland Memorial Hospital — a Dallas, Texas, landmark constructed in 1954 that served as a safety-net facility for Dallas County for over half a century, and which held notoriety as the location where President Kennedy was rushed after being shot in 1963 — everyone recognized they would be undertaking a high-profile project. This became even more apparent when the plans for a new Parkland hospital were unveiled: a 2.1-million-square-foot, 17-story, state-of-the-art, 862-bed, full-service acute-care facility located on a 64-acre health care campus in the Southwest Medical District. The $1.33 billion project resulted in one of the largest health care facilities ever constructed as a single project.

Because of the scale of the new Parkland hospital project and the fact it was being funded with public dollars, a conservative and careful approach to the planning was paramount. A planning and construction team was assembled to tackle the mammoth project, which included two architecture firms — HDR Inc. and Corgan Inc. — and four large contracting firms — Balfour Beatty, Austin Commercial, H.J. Russell & Company and Azteca — that formed a joint partnership called BARA for the job. A “collaborative project delivery” model was adopted to keep all the stakeholders on the same page, which included the designation of a central “co-location” office where members of various involved firms could meet, collaborate and concur on direction. Numerous consultants were brought in, and through a careful planning process over a period of two years, designs, material specifications and additional partners were analyzed and selected.

At a cost of $1.33 billion, Parkland Memorial Hospital is one of the largest health care facilities ever constructed as a single project. A two-ply SBS-modified bitumen roofing system was chosen for its durability and longevity. Photos: Aerial Photography Inc.

Early in the planning process, SOPREMA’s local sales partner, Conner-Legrand Inc., was brought into material specifications discussions with the architects and contractors planning the project. The planning team recognized the importance of finding the “best roof they could put in place” for this critical environment that was designed to last for decades. After numerous rounds of careful vetting, a final qualified roofing system was chosen that fit that criteria: a SOPREMA-manufactured, high-performance, two-ply, SBS-modified bitumen roofing system.

“Consistency and reliability in the marketplace don’t develop overnight, and in the case of a project like the new Parkland hospital, everyone accounts for that,” says Luke Legrand of Conner-Legrand Inc. “You’re dealing with the most discerning audience you can imagine, and while it takes time to make decisions, the final choice of materials speaks volumes. The decision-makers wanted one reputable manufacturer that could provide everything from the primer to the cap sheet and offered a strong warranty, and not every manufacturer has the horizontal and vertical breadth to provide that. In this case, however, the planning team found what they were looking for in SOPREMA.”

Raising the Roof

The new hospital featured flat rooftops at multiple levels that all needed to be made watertight for decades to come. The roofing system needed to be designed in a way that accounted for a helipad, consistent rooftop traffic, extensive rooftop equipment, lightwells and various utility platforms. A lot stood in the way of Anchor Roofing, the installer, but the meticulous planning for the project meant that all contingencies had been considered by the time application of the waterproofing system began.

After installing insulation, a vapor barrier and SOPRABOARD, the Anchor Roofing team started on the two-ply roofing application. They first put down a layer of SOPRALENE Flam 180 SBS-modified bitumen base-ply membrane to provide waterproofing protection for the building. The various other tradespeople who needed to work on the rooftop could then go about their business, and any necessary repairs were made to the waterproofing base layer before a SOPRASTAR Flam SBS-modified bitumen reflective cap ply layer was installed on top. The chosen cap layer was not only functionally strong and long-lasting, but also white and highly reflective, providing energy savings and ultimately contributing to the hospital’s achievement of LEED Gold status from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The two-ply SBS-modified bitumen roofing construction was also chosen because the waterproofing system can be easily refreshed 25–30 years down the road to extend the roof’s lifecycle without a full tear-off. The foundation of the system can stay intact while the top layer is rejuvenated, giving the option for an additional warranty and ensuring the building is protected against the elements for another 20–30 years. This not only helps the health system to save money in the long run and avoid contributing unnecessary waste to landfills, but also helps the hospital avoid disruption to operations in a sensitive environment where recovering patients must be protected from invasive construction processes.

A Dallas Landmark

Throughout the course of construction, 162 professional staff members and 1,400 on-site workers collaborated to construct the new Parkland hospital. It was officially dedicated in March 2015, and patients and staff had all moved in by August. The facility now averages more than 1 million patient visits per year, with roughly 30,000 people traveling through its doors each day. The roof has performed well, and all stakeholders in the project have felt confident that the right waterproofing system for the job was chosen. Given the careful planning, beautiful design and strong material choices that went into the project, it has already received a number of awards and is well positioned to remain a Dallas icon for decades to come.

TEAM

Architects: HDR Inc., Dallas, Texas, www.HDRinc.com, and Corgan Inc., Dallas, www.corgan.com
General Contractor: BARA, a joint venture partnership formed by Balfour Beatty, Austin Commercial, H.J. Russell & Company and Azteca
Roofing Contractor: Anchor Roofing, Fort Worth, Texas, www.anchor-roofs.com

MATERIALS

Modified Bitumen Base Ply: SOPRALENE Flam 180 SBS, SOPREMA, www.soprema.us
Modified Bitumen Cap Sheet: SOPRASTAR Flam SBS, SOPREMA
Cover Board: SOPRABOARD, SOPREMA

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