Advocate Lutheran General Hospital Tower

Arconic Architectural Products

One of the largest hospitals in the Chicago area, Advocate Lutheran General Hospital is a 617-bed teaching, research and referral hospital, a Level I trauma center and home to Lutheran General Children’s Hospital, the only children’s hospital in the city’s northwest suburbs. It's all the Midwest first LEED® Gold Hospital. Contributing to the facility's environmentally friendly design was a Reynobond® aluminum composite material wall system. Reynobond ACM is manufactured by Alcoa Architectural Products.

Advocate Health Care commissioned architects from OWP/P | Cannon Design of Chicago, IL to design the new eight-story tower. With 192 single-patient rooms, it represents the hospital’s commitment to providing healthier, more comfortable surroundings for patients and their families. The new $200 million tower opened to patients in July 2009.

The architects juxtaposed glass curtain walls, metal and brick to create a modern aesthetic. While the brick ties the new building to the existing hospital campus, the glass curtain walls and metal panels give the façade a sleek, modern look that appears to flow along the graceful curve of the property line. Tiered layers of glass and metal composite add dimension. The architects incorporated recycled materials, natural lighting and sustainable design practices into the plan for the tower. Grumman/Butkus Associates of Evanston, IL, served as the MEP consultants on the project.

Shaffner Heaney Associates, Inc., of South Bend, IN fabricated nearly 50,000 sq. ft. of Reynobond panels in two colors for the project. The vast majority of the panels--used for the canopy fascias and soffits, as wall cladding and column covers--were manufactured from 4mm-thick, FR-cored Reynobond with a Bright Silver Metallic Colorweld® 300XL paint finish. Another 1,800 sq. ft. of the same type of panels in a Pewter finish were used as accent. All American Exterior Solutions of Lake Zurich, IL installed the panels in an open joint, rout-and-return rainscreen system.

“We had to develop an innovative approach to fabricating the eyebrows, which are mounted about 1½ feet off of the façade,” said Justin Klatt of Shaffner Heaney. “Using Reynobond ACM as a structural stiffening plate allowed us to install the ACM eyebrow panels as self-supporting structures without stud framing behind them.” Power Construction of Schaumburg, IL, served as the general contractor on the project.

A healing garden joins the space between the old and new hospital building and tower on the ground level as part of a new entrance link that connects the Parkside Center and the Yacktman Children’s Pavilion with the hospital. The link has a green roof that’s visible from all of the family lounges on the west side of the patient tower. On the second floor the children’s hospital opens to the rooftop garden, where patients and their families can enjoy a little bit of the outdoors.

Patient safety, floor-plan efficiency and improved quality of life for patients were essential to the design. The inpatient floors are laid out in virtual “pods,” each with a universal floor plate design that can be easily converted to meet future demand. Each pod has a decentralized nursing station, to decrease noise levels and travel distances, and a column-free interior. The first floor of the building is the new main entrance to the hospital. A two-story atrium leads to the second-floor pediatric unit. The tower also houses three MRI rooms, ICU, oncology, a neurology/stroke facility and a top-floor mother/baby wing. All of the patient rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the Chicago skyline.

Recycled, locally produced and environmentally sensitive materials such as terrazzo flooring, wood and aluminum composite material were used throughout the tower. Sustainable design features include a green roof, planted with prairie grass seeds and varieties of alpine sedum, a low groundcover plant that is easy to maintain and drought tolerant. More than 92 percent of the construction waste from the patient tower was recycled. Low-VOC paints, sealants, adhesives, plastics and carpeting were used to improve indoor air quality. A unique rainwater management system collects rainwater on-site and filters it through rooftop plantings before it reaches the permeable pavement used on the vehicle drive, which includes an underground water detention area, that ultimately connects to the city storm system.

About Arconic Architectural Products

Arconic-logo-previewArconic Architectural Products manufacturers metal composite material and single-skin metal claddings for use in both exterior and interior applications. For more information, visit

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