MLK Child and Family Wellbeing Center
Los Angeles, CA
Category: 2023 Healthcare, Unique Installation Challenge
Starnet Preferred Vendors:
ARDEX, Armstrong Flooring, Inc., C/F Data Systems, LLC, Empower Partners, LLC, Johnsonite By Tarkett, Mannington Commercial Resilient, Mannington Commercial Rubber, Matter Surfaces, RFMS, Spec-Intel, Tarkett LVT
Unfortunately, South L.A. is one of the highest-density populations in the country. The new MLK Child and Family Wellbeing Center, with its unique design, builds up and adds to the county service offerings including; medical, dental, early diagnostic, STEM, music and dance therapy, speech, occupational therapy, and job training. This center is the answer that the entire community has been waiting for to revitalize, heal, and provide much-needed services. Working with the County Board of Supervisors, the MLK-Community Development Committee has helped to transform the 42-acre MLK site into an "urban family-health campus."
The 55,000 sf MLK Child and Family Wellbeing Center is a three-story design-build modular building, and a “first-of-its-kind” facility. The linear and natural-looking floor covering selections from Mannington, appropriately titled “Abstract”, enhance the open space and corridor transitions that foster outpatient clinical services for all the at-risk pediatric and adolescent patients and their families, including special needs, Autism, those in the Foster Care system, and some who are suffering through domestic violence.
The first floor is projected to serve 4,000 children and teens annually who are in the foster care system. The design team chose warm and welcoming natural hues with wood looks and highlighted the palette with bright colors that allow kids to feel at home while being in a space conducive to learning, hope, and growth. The second floor houses the Autism Wellness Center which will provide much-needed specialized occupational care where children will feel worthwhile. The LVP floor covering was carefully chosen to create an environment that will enhance learning over the standard VCT and basic carpet so often used in government centers. The third floor comprises a Family Justice Center which will serve to provide legal guidance and professional services for a fresh start. An internal clear atrium ties the three floors of the center together with a fresh and professional feel and highlights the “Abstract” floor covering as you gaze from floor to floor.
Unique Installation Challenge Strategy
Universal Metro helped the Cannon Design Build (CDB) team for the past five years of the seven yearlong very unique modular building project for the Martin Luther King Child and Family Center. Beyond the dynamics of the pandemic and it’s after affects, the most unique challenges came when it was discovered that the building had:
1) HVAC enclosure issues,
2) Moisture issues,
3) A metallic non-bondable surface,
4) And the most major was mod-line elevation gaps.
The mod-lines are where the subfloor of modular buildings are supposed to meet with minimal gapping for expansion. However, since modular buildings have control joints every 12 feet across the expanse of the building, the structural issues made the project un-buildable and un-warrantable. The spacing was up to 3/8 inch wider and sometimes higher than specified, which meant a solution would be necessary to address all three-floor levels. A moisture mitigation system was suggested to solve moisture emission problems on the first floor, but the cost was prohibitive for floors 2 and 3. This was solved by using Ardex K-60; details in the next paragraph.
With Universal Metro's Ardex LevelMaster Elite Installer certification, our team was tasked with finding, mocking up, and delivering a solution. Over the course of three weeks, multiple meetings with Ardex, the architect, and the CDB team, we reshot all the elevations with the CBD team, did various Mock-Ups, provided a moisture mitigation system and 3/8 Inch pour for flatness on the first floor and on the second and third, we used the Ardex K-60 product on top of a specialized urethane cement caulk system for flatness and integral strength to solve the un-warrantable structural issues. We are proud of our team and what they accomplished as we overcame this unique installation challenge by solving; substrate, elevation, bonding, moisture, and installation issue to create a great project for the MLK and CDB teams.