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University Pediatric Hospital — New Tower Expansion Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico

In addition to housing Puerto Rico’s first integrated Burn Center for children, the new tower of the University Pediatric Hospital in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico also features a 28-patient emergency care unit with four treatment/procedure rooms, an ambulatory nine-bed outpatient cancer unit clinic, and 22-bed inpatient rooms, of which two beds are linked to a centralized monitoring station for neurological studies. The integrated Burn Center itself features a six-bed unit, including two acute patient treatment rooms with controlled temperature and air-lock controlled spaces, and four intermediate/recovery rooms for minor burn patients. The Burn Center also has a hydrotherapy treatment section and an occupational therapy area. To protect the patients and sophisticated equipment contained in the building, it was imperative that the roof of the new tower provide years of watertight service. Yet that wasn’t the only requirement for the new roof. All buildings in Puerto Rico are situated in “Hurricane Alley,” so the roof had to meet wind uplift requirements for a basic wind speed of 145 miles per hour in accordance with the ASCE 7 standard. The roof also had to meet LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) reflectivity and emissivity requirements for cool roofs. Finally, since the new tower roof was visible from other buildings, the building owners also wanted it to be attractive. The way the roof was installed was an important consideration. The new tower was close to another hospital structure “so we were concerned about safety issues,” said Angel Pantoja, senior architect of CMA Architects and Engineers of Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. “We didn’t want any roofs that had asphalt materials or which involved torching generating fumes of any kind during installation.”

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