Oregon’s General Sheet Metal (GSM) was the design build contractor of choice when Oregon Health & Science University built the Gary and Christine Rood Family Pavilion—a Ronald McDonald House that provides lodging for patients and their families. GSM worked alongside ZGF Architects and Hoffman Construction on the new building that opened in 2019.
The pavilion features five stories dedicated for patients and families to relax and focus on healing, and sits atop six levels of parking, with retail shops on the ground floor. GSM did the punch windows, the thermally broken furring, cladding, flashing, plus some interior work in the entryway. The project took more than 12 months to complete, but from first involvement to sign off it was more than three years in the making. The integrated project delivery method meant Olander worked in ZGF’s office. Once the project got underway, the owner, architects, Hoffman Construction, and all trade partners worked in the same job trailer.
The original design didn’t pass the design review board, but the co-location made collaboration on the re-work easier.
“I attended all the design review meetings with ZGF architects,” Olander points out. “The beauty of it was they didn’t have to transfer information and we were all on the same page.”
Tom Breault, Senior Project Manager at GSM, notes that the company faced some unique challenges on this project. “The engineering of the garage screen panels was a task with having to design in the drift and the deflection of the parking garage concrete structure.”
They also had to address environmental issues. “In order to keep the garage screen from howling or screaming with the wind, perforated panels were used in conjunction with the ¼” bent plate garage screen panels,” Breault said.
As they planned the perforated panels and ¼” bent plate screen panels, GSM relied on mock-ups. They would make a prototype in their shop, then take it out to the site so everyone had the opportunity to see what they were getting before moving forward.
Olander appreciated that architect John Thompson cared about efficiency as well as design. One result of this mindset was to change their panel size from 4 x 4’ to 39 x 39” which achieved 100 percent material utilization.
Olander explains the reasoning behind the custom aluminum plate panels. “A parking garage in Oregon has to have 50 percent free area or they have to put an exhaust system in the garage. The perforated panels are about 42 percent free area, so they had to provide some more open surface. The idea was to take a square panel and bend it corner-to-corner out at an angle. That gave it an attractive shape and opened up the free area. It’s installed more like a curtain wall system where it’s allowed to be free-floating in both directions, so it meets the seismic and live load requirements.”
GSM used their CNC routing table, computerized breaks and shears to form the large ¼” plates for the garage screen. They also used their 25-ton press. The ¼” plate and aluminum tube for the garage screen were unique to this project. This job was one of the first major projects where GSM fabricated the composite panels in their shop rather than purchasing them.
With all the moving parts of the project, everyone appreciated that working on a building that included a Ronald McDonald House was a special opportunity.
“I think everybody who worked on it understood,” Olander said. “Even though the Ronald McDonald house was the smaller portion of the whole job, it’s a really important piece that meant a lot to all of us.”
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