Summarize the project's program, features and achievements.
As the population in the area grows, Wilmington Eye continues to expand both in locations and the services provided. To provide patients with a new way to access high-quality surgical care at significantly reduced costs, they saw the need to build Eastern North Carolina's first freestanding ophthalmic surgery center. Having this facility separate from the hospital reduces outpatient surgery costs by up to 40%. Wilmington Eye turned to its trusted General Contractor to assemble his building team for this 17,000 sf state-of-the-art surgical facility. Knowing the client's desires, the General Contractor knew using Tilt-Up to quickly deliver a high-value, long-lasting building in this humid, hurricane-prone area while staying within their project budget was the best option. To assemble his team, the GC connected again with an Architect and Design-Build Tilt-Up Contractor who had been working together for over 15 years and on numerous projects. With the added complexities of the surgical rooms and requirements, the client brought in a specialty consultant and kicked off the design in the spring of 2020.
What obstacles were overcome related to the schedule, budget, program, specification, site, etc. on this project?
After demolishing two existing buildings and preparing the site for its new occupant, the construction was pretty straightforward. With the building pushed up tight to its required setback on the west side, crane access was limited to the other three sides and required lesser panel weights along this elevation. Two panels needed to be built on a temporary casting bed as there was more panel area than the building slab. Extensive below slab work was planned around, with the Tilt-Up Contractor placing foundations early, then returning after that scope was complete to place the slab on grade and build panels.
Communicate any engineering complexities or unique features of the panel design for this project.
The building's exterior is simple and classic - straight lines, a basic color scheme, and reveal patterning at the primary and secondary entries. Clerestory windows help bring natural sunlight deep into the floorplan. A roof overhang, supported by HSS tubes, continues along the very top of the 32' high Tilt-Up panels. Another overhang, this time an 8'-6" cantilever, is provided at the dropoff canopy. The Tilt-Up panels support several 8" members within this shallow canopy profile, including an MC-shape member with an unsupported portion that is over 9'. Exterior columns set on concrete pedestals were wrapped in ipe wood, and the same material was used to create an exterior break area screen for the facilities' employees.
What is the potential for this project's impact on the community and/or environment?
In late 2021, Wilmington Eye excitedly opened its Wilmington Eye Surgery Center to bring these new services to its patients and the region. As they continue to invest in the area and expand their reach, this project has been a bright spot in improving healthcare services. Since this Surgery Center, Wilmington Eye has brought the project team back together to break ground on their third Tilt-Up structure earlier this year.
Wilmington, NC 28401
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