Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center
The Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center is a 334-bed hospital that serves Lafayette and the surrounding communities. In 2020, Ochner Health Group bought Lafayette General Hospital and committed to investing $100 Million to improve the medical center. Part of the investment was a $13.1 Million expansion project to construct a new parking garage. The garage was built to alleviate the parking congestion on the hospital's campus. As the hospital has grown, the staff has grown with it, and so requires an increase in parking spots. The garage must accommodate 547 cars and be close to the hospital's main entrance.
The architects chose to incorporate perforated metal into the design for several reasons:
- Perforated metal panels add a contemporary touch to the garage's exterior, complementing the hospital's modern design aesthetic.
- The façade protects from the elements while allowing natural light and ventilation, essential considerations in a parking garage.
- Perforated metal is durable and easy to maintain, which is vital for a structure with heavy use.
The Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center parking garage was constructed using a precast concrete system with sections incorporating a perforated metal fascia. The panels were manufactured at Accurate Perforating's Chicago manufacturing facility. Here, the individual components were each marked and labeled, making the installation at the construction site more manageable. By working directly with Accurate, the contractor, GM Horne, ensured each perforated section was aligned correctly to aid in bolting the panels to the outside of the garage. Accurate's resulting attention to detail in the project ensured that everything was secure to the façade and installed promptly. The quicker the garage could open, the better for hospital employees.
The perforated metal panels have transformed the appearance of the parking garage, adding a sleek, modern look that complements the other new additions to the hospital's overall design. The boards also provide much-needed protection from the elements and natural light, making it more pleasant for visitors to park. It also eliminated any wind tunneling effect that can happen in most parking garages. Thanks to perforated metal, visitors and employees don't have to worry about papers flying about or their coffee blowing over. Finally, the durability of the perforated metal ensures that the garage will remain a functional and attractive addition to the hospital's campus for years to come. The panels complemented the modern design aesthetic of the hospital additions and transformed a utilitarian structure into an attractive and functional asset. Architects and designers can take inspiration from this design to incorporate perforated metal into their parking garage designs.