Technical Papers

DryZone Concrete Uses PolyLevel to Lift the First Level of Nanticoke Memorial Hospital in Seaford, DE

Monday, August 14th, 2017 by Amy Brown

Design and Craftsmanship

To complete the lifting of the hallway in Nanticoke Hospital located in Seaford, DE, DryZone LLC utilized PolyLevel. PolyLevel is an expanding, high-density foam which is engineered to permanently raise and level sunken concrete in many different applications.

The PolyLevel process utilizes and expanding, two part, closed cell polyurethane foam to raise sunken concrete. One of the perennial challenges of working with PolyLevel is the very specific nature in which the activator and resin blends are to be combined. The activator material contains a hardening substance which is ultra-moisture sensitive. This, in combination with the resin which is not moisture sensitive and varies based upon the needs of any specific job, creates a light weight, quick curing material which has a high capacity of lifting strength.

 

Excellence in Project Teamwork

Timing was critical in this job. It was our priority that Nanticoke Memorial Hospital continue to meet the needs of the community through providing services with as little interruption as possible. This hallway leads to Radiology (MRI, XRay, CT scan, ultrasound, cardiac catherization laboratory) and the Cardiology Testing area. It is the primary conduit through which patients are transported from the Intensive Care Unit for life saving emergency surgeries and the Obstetrics Unit taking patients to the operating room for cesarean section procedures.  In order to cause as few complications with all of these critical, lifesaving services, we did the work over night with the bulk of the work being done between 6 pm and 3 am.

DryZone LLC worked very closely with the Facilities Department of Nanticoke Memorial Hospital to ensure that standards of cleanliness and patient comfort were maintained throughout the hospital during the time that DryZone LLC completed the work.

Additional planning and budgeting was involved in the permits process than a typical residential PolyLevel job requires. This process hinged greatly on the cooperation and working relationship held by DryZone LLC and Nanticoke Memorial Hospital.

 

Innovation in Construction Techniques or Materials

Traditional methods of repair for the problem of the sunken hallway outside the elevator shafts in Nanticoke Memorial Hospital were initially investigated. The patient traffic would have been greatly compromised for weeks rather than the hours that the innovative PolyLevel process afforded.  The time savings alone was an incredible benefit to Nanticoke Memorial Hospital and the community that it serves.

The PolyLevel technique has a very high strength to weight ratio. This will ensure that there will not be a large increase on the load already being held by the foundation.

The lifting force of PolyLevel is virtually unlimited when applied by an experienced technician. Lifting force with PolyLevel can approach 6000 pounds per square ft. This 4800-square foot job required 1540 units of PolyLevel material.

Another advantage to PolyLevel in this instance is the fact that once it has hardened and cures, the stiff rigid foam material will not absorb fluids or alter dimension over time. Once it is cured, PolyLevel is a totally inert as a material. There are no harmful chemicals which will affect the hospital environment.

As stated in the first paragraph of this section, PolyLevel application saved Nanticoke Memorial Hospital time which is precious when in a lifesaving condition. PolyLevel reaches 90% of its final strength and rigidity in under 20 minutes. This allowed DryZone LLC to create the seamless transition from elevator to floor that Nanticoke Memorial Hospital was looking for in the shortest window of time possible.

 

Meeting the Challenge of a Difficult Job

In addition to the initial challenges of the short, nighttime window for work necessary to complete this job was additional complication of the non-occluded elevator having mechanical issues not related to the initial leveling issue. As this would be the elevator with access during the work, when this elevator began having mechanical issues, it became necessary to reschedule the work around the work being done to this elevator.

As soon as the window of opportunity opened to work at the hospital, DryZone LLC fast tracked our concrete division into action to best meet the needs of Nanticoke Memorial Hospital.  

We were challenged by the hospital to complete this job as quietly as possible. Rest is key in the recovery process, so the DryZone Concrete crew took special care to complete the work as quietly as possible.

PolyLevel is stored in a rig which is parked onsite at any of our PolyLevel jobs. The two parts are delivered in a hose system which had to be pulled through windows and ran along the ceiling so as not to impede people from accessing areas of the hospital which were not directly involved in the current lifting project.

Another challenge within this job was the length of the hallway. DryZone LLC temporarily applied a bracing system along the 60 foot length of the hallway to ensure that the hallway would raise at a consistent pace throughout. This bracing supported the existing concrete throughout the lifting process which helped to prevent any cracking which might have occurred if the concrete operation had been done in a less skillful manner.

 

Summary

We are happy to have been a part of this project. Helping create a safe environment for patients to recover and that is healthy for the employees of Nanticoke Memorial Hospital is at the benchmark of what we do. 

About the author
Amy is an enthusiastic member of Team DryZone with a passion for sharing the success stories that our crews achieve every day with prospective homeowners.

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