Installation of Altro® Whiterock Wall Panels in the basement of Montclair State University Environmental Life Sciences Building facilitates contamination-free environment.
(East Brunswick, NJ – June 2015) The Gillespie Group recently completed the installation of approximately 15,000 square feet of sealed, impervious wall panels in the basement of the new Montclair State University Environmental Life Sciences Building. The project, one of the Gillespie Group’s largest Altro® installations in New Jersey to date, involved over 375 boards of specially coated Altro® Whiterock Wall Cladding.
Both durable and hygienic, Altro Whiterock un-plasticized Polyvinyl Chloride (uPVC)-coated Wall Cladding provides a watertight, seamless surface that is easy to clean and requires virtually no maintenance. Unlike ordinary Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) wall paneling, which requires plasticizers to maintain its flexibility, uPVC paneling contains no additives that can leach out or degrade over time. Because it is watertight and impact resistant, it provides an attractive alternative to glazed ceramic tiles, which are susceptible to scratching, chipping and cracking. As a fully sealed system with no grouted joints where bacterial or fungal growth can occur, Altro Whiterock also meets hygienic standards required by life sciences laboratories.
The floors of the Environmental Life Sciences Building also were specially treated to prevent formation of bacteria that could affect the results of experiments being conducted in the various laboratories. In order to assure that the walls would be equally bacteria free, the Whiterock wall panels needed to be carefully installed by The Gillespie Group’s team of skilled technicians specially trained in Altro installation and installation equipment. “Altro Wall Panels are an ideal solution for laboratory or healthcare environments,” commented John Gillespie, VP of Operations for The Gillespie Group. “However, the precision of the installation is critical. All team members working on the Montclair State University project are graduates of the intensive Altro Training Academy.”
After the panels were fastened to the walls, the seam gaps were sealed by heat welding. If the seams are too wide, the heat welding does not achieve a perfect closure. All corners were also heated and precisely bent to ensure perfect alignment with the walls, eliminating the need for corner guards or caps that could potentially trap bacteria. As a result, the Altro Wall Panels formed a seamless, impervious, hygienic surface from floor to ceiling. The sturdy and durable construction is relatively maintenance free, and does not require painting or other upkeep costs associated with tiles or other wall treatments.
Because the installation needed to be completed in only four weeks, and before students returned to the campus, The Gillespie Group had to overcome a number of obstacles to meet the tight deadline. The Whiterock wall panels were 10 feet long, and there was no elevator in the building large enough to accommodate them. Individual panels had to be carefully carried down the stairs to the basement manually. Because of the short timeline, and the fact that the building was still under construction while the Altro panels were being installed, The Gillespie Group also had to devise a customized installation plan that would allow all the work to be completed without interfering with other trades. “Thanks to a team with extensive experience in Altro product installation, and familiarity with working in a campus environment, we were able to bring the project to completion on schedule,” Gillespie concluded. “Our customer was very pleased with both the quality of the end result, and the fact that the project was completed before students resumed fall classes.”