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Penetron Flooring Helps Student Health at Cornell University


When Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, needed to install new flooring for over 25,000 square feet (2,330 m2) of concrete in their new Cornell Health facility, they asked PENETRON Specialty Products for a durable solution to withstand this high traffic environment. The first phase of construction was finished in October.

Designed by Chiang O'Brien Architects, Cornell University's new health center — Cornell Health – is an update and expansion of the previous Gannett building. Begun in April 2015, the $55 million renovation and expansion project has now completed Phase 1 of construction – expanding the current building. The new healthcare facility is due to officially open in time for the start of the 2017-18 school year.

PENETRON overcomes high Rh test results on more than 25,000 sq. feet of flooring.
PENETRON overcomes high Rh test results on more than 25,000 sq. feet of flooring.

“The expansion project more than doubles the space of the Gannett building from 25,000 to 52,000 square feet,” notes Peter Trainor, PSP Vice President of Sales. “With over 100,000 visits every school year, this facility is home to more than 200 healthcare professionals. The high volume of traffic demands a correspondingly durable flooring solution.”

The project was unexpectedly put on hold when tests of the concrete floors in the new building showed high relative humidity (RH) readings. Chaing O'Brien Architects then reached out to Ben Giamichael, Commercial Contract Specialist with NRF Distributors, for answers. One of the largest flooring products distributors in the Northeast, NRF Distributors is also one of PENETRON Specialty Products’ key clients.

“We needed a quick resolution to keep the project on track,” explains Mr. Giamichael. “Because of the high RH results, the finished flooring could not be properly installed or warranted.”

Working with the architects, NRF Distributors, and PENETRON Specialty Products helped keep the project on schedule by specifying PENETRON’s moisture vapor reduction system: VB 225, PRIMER STX 100 and SURFIX FEP (feather edge patch). The finished flooring, installed by Jeff Osman for D&R Jones Construction, included vinyl enhanced tile, carpet tile, and resilient sheet goods, and are now all warrantable thanks to the PENETRON system.

“For this phase of the project, we renovated approximately 25,000 square feet,” explains Mike Swartwout, Cornell University Project Manager. “We were very pleased with the quick response, which helped keep the project on schedule.”

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