Case Study Southside Regional Medical Center

Project Details
Project: Southside Regional Medical Center
Segment: Healthcare
Location: Petersburg, VA 
DESIGNER / ARCHITECT: In house SRMC Facility Management

Evidence-Based Design* and Armstrong Flooring Used in Orthopedic Center Renovation

All too often, healthcare facilities are designed without input from the very people who actually need to work there day-in and day-out. That’s not the case with the Southside Regional Medical Center (SRMC) Advanced Joint & Spine Care Center. The orthopedic wing in the four-year old hospital was renovated in 2012 with specific input from SRMC physicians and employees. Michael Vigeant, SRMC’s director of plant operations, safety and security, was responsible for selecting the new flooring within the hospital’s pre-determined budget. He was asked to select finishes that were “rich in color and had less of an institutional feel,” he says. “Having this goal in mind, to change the look and feel of this space, presented challenges. I wanted a wood plank and stone look that was also durable and easy to clean. With Armstrong, the selection process was made easier because of the attentiveness of the Armstrong representative and the product choices within NATURAL CREATIONS Luxury Flooring.”

Patient-Centered Approach

Planning for the Advanced Joint and Spine Center renovation began more than a year before the actual construction, with SRMC team visits to other hospitals that used evidence-based design for planning their orthopedic spaces. The team learned that the physical environment can influence well-being, promote healing, relieve patient pain and stress, and also reduce medical errors. Michael says, “Our team thought about how to apply this approach in our facility. A selection was made for images of horses; such beautiful animals and competitive spirits; and something Tonya Grant, the assistant director of marketing can relate to, as she made the artful choices.” And so, a horse racing theme was integrated into much of the renovated Center’s interior design. Canvas photos of race horses adorn the walls. The theme is cleverly executed in the patients’ physical therapy area, too, where progress is measured in steps to the finish line, not in just feet and inches. This is visually easy to see by the lines in the flooring to mark how far patients have come.

The floor design supports a horse stable theme with nature-inspired visuals. Michael says, “We thought a wood planking look on the floor would provide a rustic or barn look to the space. A stone look is used in tandem with the wood to complement it and to provide an overall feeling of warmth, unlike what you might expect for a hospital clinical space.”

Approximately 10,000 square feet of neutral-colored tile flooring was replaced with Armstrong NATURAL CREATIONS Luxury Flooring in the patient rooms, main corridors and the nurse’s station. Michael specified NATURAL CREATIONS EarthCuts Luxury Flooring, which features natural stone surface characteristic and color variations that bring stone’s intrinsic beauty to life. NATURAL CREATIONS ArborArt Luxury Flooring, with its natural wood graining, color and textures provided the visual warmth of genuine hardwood with high-performance, lowmaintenance characteristics. All Armstrong LVT flooring products have a durable, abrasion-resistant wear layer for years of good looks. A UV-cured urethane coating also eliminates the need for polishes and spray buffing in some applications, saving time and cost.

On Track for a Successful Installation

The hospital and the installer, Hodgman’s, Inc., Richmond, Va., worked with Armstrong representative Elizabeth Thomason and the local commercial floor wholesaler, J. J. Haines & Company, Inc., on sample selection, delivery and technical advice. Hodgman’s Vice President Dicky Hulcher met with Elizabeth and Michael to look at samples, measure the project and order larger, full-size samples. Dicky says their installer worked with Michael to modify the design to suit the particulars of the layout and the building elements.

The old floor tile was removed prior to installing NATURAL CREATIONS Luxury Flooring with no disruption to adjacent patient spaces. Michael says Hodgman’s used a newer type of scraping machine that was very quiet, unlike the older machines that, in his words are, “noisy, hard vibrating and all-around loud.” He adds, “There were absolutely no noise complaints from the floors above or below. I was impressed and highly recommend this type of equipment for a hospital setting.”

And the Winner Is – Everyone!

Everyone on the SRMC team and the installer are delighted with the installation. Michael says, “The decision to use Armstrong was not a difficult one. This manufacturer is a prime leader for innovation in the healthcare industry with a good reputation for performance.” Dicky agrees, adding, “This installation resulted in an upgraded, newer look for the ortho specialty wing, and NATURAL CREATIONS Luxury Flooring gave it a sophistication that impresses staff, patients and visitors alike. It was a delight working with Elizabeth and Michael to make this project a reality.”

*Evidence based design uses information from research, project evaluations, and evidence gathered from the facility's operations and end-user needs to develop design solutions.