TSI Plays Key Role in Montgomery County, Md.’s First New Hospital in 35 Years

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When completed, the six-story, 237,000-square-foot Holy Cross Germantown Hospital in Germantown, Md., will offer emergency, medical, surgical, obstetric and psychiatric care, along with an on-site medical office building.

Jim Keller takes pride in every venture in which he takes part as a project manager for TSI Exterior Walls Inc. (TSI), but says he’s taking added delight in helping to craft the new Holy Cross Germantown Hospital in Germantown, Md.

“It’s something to be proud of,” Keller says. “It’s something that’s going to affect a lot of people, a lot of patients and a whole community.”

His enthusiasm is understandable, given the far-reaching impact the new 93-bed facility is expected to have upon its expected completion in 2014 among a rapidly aging population in the state’s congested suburban enclave of Montgomery County.

The county’s first new hospital in 35 years will be unique in that it will be the first in the nation to operate on a community college campus as part of an educational partnership. When completed, the six-story, 237,000-square-foot building will offer emergency, medical, surgical, obstetric and psychiatric care, along with an on-site medical office building.

TSI, an Upper Marlboro, Md.-based specialty contractor that has previously been involved with Washington, D.C.-area projects such as FedEx Field, Nationals Ballpark and the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, among others, is working on its latest project in conjunction with the two other divisions of TSI Corporations, TSI Architectural Metals Inc. and Mid-Atlantic Construction Supply.

Coordinating all the various parties involved in the healthcare project and keeping up with production remain among the biggest challenges, Keller says.

“We’re all trying to create a profit, so there were some challenges in there,” he says.

Nothing, however, that couldn’t be deftly managed with proper planning and steady communication. TSI has largely completed its job of installing the 500 curtainwall units fabricated by Gardner Metal Systems (GMS) of Acworth, Ga.

“We just take them from a crane, hoist them up and basically snap it together like Legos,” Keller jokes. “At the end of the day, you basically have the wall set.”

The aluminum-framed curtainwall units were privately assembled prior to arrival by a design-assist routine involving project designer Smith Group, GMS, Whiting-Turner, the general contractor, and TSI Corporations.

That means the proper layout of the building prior to the units’ arrival on site was critical, Keller says. More specifically, it entailed making sure all the anchor clips were where they’re supposed to be so that the expensive units didn’t have to be repeatedly taken up and down the building at added risk.

“If you can do [the proper layout], then putting them in is a piece of cake,” Keller says.

So far, so good.

The weather has been cooperative and the specially-trained union workers doing the job have proven themselves up to the task. As of this week, just one lite of glass had been broken from the roughly 1,500 that have been handled, Keller says.

TSI Architectural Metals is fabricating the two large composite panels needed for the front of the building that will be framed in steel and wrapped with composite panel, with large glass pieces installed between each truss of steel.

Mid-Atlantic Construction will handle the fabrication of the 1,316 composite panels necessary to cover the nearly 21,000 square feet for the hospital’s façade.

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