Building a Healthier Future for Children at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital

Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware aims to build a healthier future for children with the help of Corian® Design.

Corian® Design is helping Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware, provide life-changing medical care to children and families in both familiar and unexpected ways.

What opened in 1940 as a pediatric orthopedic institute is now a world-renowned full-service children's hospital.. The hospital recently underwent a 475,000 square foot expansion, including a new six-story building with 144 private patient rooms, the state’s only Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Emergency Department, 44 emergency department exam rooms and a cafeteria. A six-story atrium allows for stunning views inside and out is an inviting space to bring the hospital community together for movies, food tastings and other patient-centric activities. Peaceful family solariums, healing gardens and a playroom also are integral to the innovative hospital design.

The $288 million project was designed “by families for families,” thoughtfully and purposefully including input from parents, children, nurses, physicians and other clinicians in order to best promote children’s physical, emotional and spiritual healing.

Corian® and Zodiaq® quartz surfaces are nontoxic and non-allergenic to humans and have received NSF/ANSI 51 Certification for food equipment material and Class A fire rating. These nonporous materials help healthcare architects and designers create spaces that, with proper cleaning, may help to contribute to a more hygienic and safe environment.

With over 50,000 square feet of Corian® selected as a primary design material, 550 sheets of mostly Arctic White were chosen throughout the renovation due to its durability, seamlessness, sleek, clean look and, most importantly, the properties that make it an ideal choice for healthcare settings.

“FKP specified Corian® for its high durability and ease of maintenance qualities. With the limitless possibilities of Corian®, the design team was able to incorporate seamless surface design solutions in order to provide appropriate, sustainable results for healthcare environments. From nurse station countertops, caregiver work areas with integrated sinks, to personal protection equipment cabinets at the entry to each patient room, the hospital is ensured with a long-lasting and performing product.” – Kristin Ledet, Senior Project Designer/Principal, FKP

Patient Room in Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware

Each state-of-the-art patient room is comprised of three sections, patient care, family space and a caregiver area, all of which incorporate Corian® into places that matter most for each individual.

Corian® Design solid surface was used as part of:

  • the clinical nurse space, including countertops, sinks and storage
  • the patient area, including footwalls and storage and cabinetry for kids to store pictures, flowers and even lock up personal items.
  • all ADA-compliant bathrooms designed from head-to-toe in Corian®, including vanities, sinks, storage and integrated showers, which provide ease of maintenance, even the windowsills were Corian®.

Outside of each room are built-in Corian® cubbies specifically designed to hold personal protective gear – gowns, gloves and masks – for caregivers before they enter a room, in the case that this type of preventive care is needed. The cabinets not only help prevent the spread of germs, they keep the corridors free of carts which could get in the way of workers and family members.

Corian® is well-known for its wide variety of integrated sinks, specifically its uniquely designed baby bath sink is a part of the delivery area of Nemours. “You must use Corian® in healthcare settings. Other surfaces can chip or delaminate. In particular, everywhere there’s a sink in the expansion, there’s Corian®.” – Art Brinkworth, Construction Project Manager

In the nurse team stations, ICU and emergency department exam rooms, Corian® was used for all of the sinks, countertops and casework. Operating rooms and the imaging departments also incorporate Corian® wall cladding as an additional measure of beauty and functionality. In order to ensure efficacy of design, prior to construction, mock ups were created. Two hundred and fifty clinicians walked through the preliminary space, offering feedback that was incorporated into the design. 

“Corian® was chosen, in part, due to the ongoing battle with hospital acquired infections. Corian® is easy to clean and keep clean – and not only for that reason. We recently had a patient whose sibling colored on almost every surface of the patient room with a Sharpie. We got it all clean due to Corian’s endurance.” – Ruthann Turner, PICI Nurse Manager

The interactive digital wall known as the 'Discovery Zone'

Perhaps the crown jewel of the expansion project is the 60-foot-long interactive Discovery Zone made possible by a donation from DuPont. This towering digital wall is a place where kids can stand before it and broadcast themselves onto a screen – if they open their arms they can create a rainbow and watch plants grow, for example. The Discovery Zone has been described as a place where children of all abilities can interact, be creative and experience the emotional side of healing. DuPont’s donation also helped fund a safety store where families can find car seats, bike helmets and other gear to keep their children safe and sound at home.

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