Infection Control: Avonite Surfaces® Promote Healthy Environments in Healthcare Settings.

“AVONITE SURFACES® ARE A PROVEN STRATEGY FOR INFECTION CONTROL.” The new patient pavilion at St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Stockton, Calif. is a more than 152,000-square-foot facility that includes 78 beds, a new Women and Children’s Center, Neonatal and Adult Intensive Care units, and private patient rooms, with a bridge and underground passage connecting to the existing facility. St. Joseph’s Medical Center’s core values collaboration, dignity, stewardship, justice and excellence were an essential consideration when selecting the design and construction team of Anshen & Allen Architects, Turner Construction Company and Vanir Construction Management.

The team was chosen based on a proven ability to work together, effectively steward a project budget and build an excellent acute-care facility sensitive to patient dignity and reflective of workplace functionality recommendations made by St. Joseph’s nurses, clinicians, physicians and support staff. In addition to using Avonite Surfaces for the patient room counters, reception areas and nurse stations, Vice President of Administration at St. Joseph’s Medical Center Terry Spring specifically requested no tile be used in the shower rooms. Based on his previous experiences with tile and the long-term maintenance issues, he asked Anshen & Allen designers to use solid surface for the shower room surrounds. Solid surface not only provided easier maintenance but also was a proven strategy for infection control.

Even with the improvements of epoxy grout for tile installations, the irregular surface retains moisture in the multiple crevices and provides pathogens a place to grow. Eventually tiles loosen and allow water penetration into the sub wall where the contamination and structural damage can go undetected for years. Continuous walls of solid surface have no crevices and the surface is completely non-porous. These characteristics of solid surface define why it is a preferred surface by the 2006 AIA Healthcare Facility Design Guidelines. Anshen & Allen selected Avonite Surfaces® Wet Wall Panel System for the surrounds in the shower rooms. The shower room layout saved valuable square feet and the design contains all of the wet areas in one sealed room. The seamless panels reach corner to corner without butt joints or batten strips.

The resulting smooth Avonite Surfaces® Acrylic Solid Surface walls clean faster and are much easier to care for compared to tile and other surfaces. It is estimated Avonite Surfaces® Wall Panels take 50 percent less time to clean that tile. But not only time is saved, the impact on the environment is lessened by the drastic reduction of cleaning solvents and chemicals used. Month after month, year after year, this adds up to considerable savings. This is clearly better for patients as well. “Based on the success of this application, St. Joseph’s Medical Center will choose Avonite Surfaces® Wall Panels over tile for all of their future projects and renovations,” Spring added.

Founded in 1983, the Avonite Surfaces® brand is the innovation leader for countertop and vertical surfacing applications. Avonite Surfaces® Acrylic Solid Surfaces is a solid surface product line of Aristech Surfaces, LLC, a leading manufacturer and marketer of thermoformable and general purpose acrylic sheet and solid surface products.