Vaporseal™ and Skimcrete® XL Cleveland Clinic Case Study

Products: VAPORSEAL™ and SKIMCRETE® XL

Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland, Ohio

The Cleveland Clinic, one of the most prestigious hospitals in the world. Had added two new buildings in 2008, the Arnold and Sydell Miller Family Pavilion Heart and Vascular Institute as well as Glickman
Tower. Along with the continued growth, the Clinic had continued to upgrade internal operations to reduce costs and maximize efficiencies. DEPENDABLE provided a moisture vapor solution with VAPORSEAL™ to the consolidation of services occasioned by the major expansion.

The large campus on the east side of Cleveland, however, had no centralized service area that could efficiently provide support to the entire campus. With the new buildings coming on line it was decided to address this issue. Construction began in October 2006 on the East 89th Street Service Center and Parking Garage. The new 227,000 square foot underground service center provides ample space for departments such as Materials Management, Waste Management, Food Storage and Preparation, Central Sterile Supply, and Linen Storage. Before these departments were spread throughout the campus making coordination difficult.

The goal of the Service Center is to operate behind the scenes, without drawing attention as activities occur. An underground corridor system connecting the various buildings with the service center as the hub will allow this to
happen. Automated Guided Vehicles will be utilized to transport material efficiently around the campus.

A hard, durable product was required to withstand the consistent AGV traffic. An Altro sheet vinyl product was selected. The product requires heat welded seams so it has very tight restrictions on concrete moisture. Relative humidity testing and calcium chloride testing were used on the project. Relative Humidity (“RH”) testing began near the end of January 2008, about 5 months after the concrete slabs were placed.

Proper acclimation on new construction sites can be difficult, especially on such a
large project. The Clinic is a very educated customer and understands the concerns regarding moisture and floor covering. They also understand the problems with a fully operational HVAC system during construction. Hospitals have very expensive filter systems in the HVAC. There is also concern for construction dust accumulation within the duct work. So the construction manager had a tough task – acclimate the environment without the use of the HVAC. They were up to the task. Temporary heat and dehumidification systems were brought on site to maintain a constant environment replicating the building’s serviceable
environment. Floor covering was scheduled to begin in March.

The flooring contractor was scheduled to install VCT, ceramic tile, coatings, and carpet tile along with the Altro sheet vinyl. RH testing ran from the low to high 90’s at first. It was monitored and by mid March was running between the low 80’s to low 90’s. Because the moisture was being monitored, ample time was allowed to plan for the eventual occurrence of not meeting the 75% requirement by the floor covering manufacturer. Calcium chloride tests were also conducted. Calcium chloride test tests the amount of moisture coming out of the concrete compared with the RH which tests the amount of moisture within the concrete. This difference can be important. On this project there was an area that became flooded after a rain storm. The calcium chloride can identify this excess moisture where as the RH can not, or vice versa, depending on the nature and source of moisture. Both test methods served the project well.

DEPENDABLE’S VAPORSEAL™ was recommended to provide a warranted moisture mitigation system to allow floor covering installation. VAPORSEAL™ is installed in a single coat and can provide protection to 25 lbs or 97% RH. At 70 degrees F, it dries to the touch in 12 hours, allowing foot traffic or installation of the next product.

An experienced coating contractor and certified Vaporseal installer, was hired by the contractor to provide the required surface prep – shotblasting along with the VAPORSEAL™ installation. They completed the system by applying SKIMCRETE® XL to smooth the surface over the VAPORSEAL™. No special primers or additives are used with the SKIMCRETE® XL. It is mixed with water and applied directly to the VAPORSEAL™ achieving an exceptional bond. The system was installed at the end of March, which was quickly followed by the floor covering installation keeping the project on schedule.