Galvan Industries is Recognized for Hot Dip Galvanizing Excellence in the Building & Architecture Category for New Atrium Health Parking Structure

Atrium Health, located in Charlotte, NC, has been expanding its operation since it was founded in 1940, more than 82 years ago. The Atrium Health campus is now home to the Levine Cancer Institute, The Sanger Heart and Vascular Institute, The Levine Children’s Hospital, and The Neurosciences Institute. The hospital has expanded to 874 beds years and is designated an ACS level 1 trauma center, with a helipad for emergency patients.

Due to the continuing growth of the hospital, several parking areas that service patients and visitors needed to be elevated and changed from smaller parking lots to a much larger parking deck.

Galvan Industries of Harrisburg, NC, recently received the Excellence in Hot-Dip Galvanizing Award from the American Galvanizers Association (AGA) in the Building & Architecture category for its work on the new Atrium Health parking structure. It is Galvan’s 13th win in the nation-wide competition since the AGA began the Excellence Awards in 1995.

In designing the new parking deck, careful consideration was given to building a facility with the longest life possible, while providing the most economical solutions for the new construction. Having Galvan Industries hot-dip galvanize the steel for this project proved to be a solution that could provide a longer service life, as well as reduce the overall construction costs.

One of the major steel design elements for this project was a special proprietary C Beam. C Beams, also known as cellular beams, are created by cutting a normal structural steel beam down the middle, using both a straight line and a semi-circular pattern. The beam is then separated and offset, then welded back together. This offset welding creates a circular pattern of openings throughout the middle of the beam, and results in a taller, deeper beam than the original steel beam it was cut from.

The steel voids that create project savings are made when the larger depth of the C Beam is used in lieu of designing from the same depth of a normal solid steel beam. Over 44 loads of C Beams were designed for this project to create a large savings in steel costs for the project.

The C Beams were not the only source of savings designed into this project. All of the structural steel columns and beams erected and designed into the parking deck project were specified for hot-dip galvanizing.

The Atrium Health design team chose hot-dip galvanizing by Galvan Industries for many reasons, including long service life, corrosion performance, aesthetic appearance, and overall quality.

Galvan’s expertise and experience in progressive dipping was also important. Several column members and connecting support beams, along with most of the cellular beams were designed with lengths over 62 feet, requiring progressive dipping in the galvanizing kettle. This process requires the steel members to be dipped into the molten zinc once, and then removed for cooling. After the beams have cooled, Galvan team members grind the first dip line, and then place the steel beams back into the kettle for the second dip, getting the full zinc coverage required for specification from end to end.

Designing the steel members at greater lengths reduced the number of steel members required on the project, along with field splices that would have been required by designing smaller members. Due to increasing labor costs, field splicing has become very expensive, so reducing the number of them creates more project savings.

In addition to reducing overall material and installation costs, Galvan helped keep the project on schedule. All 81 loads were stored at Galvan’s galvanizing facility ungalvanized, scheduled for production, galvanized, stacked, and finally loaded for delivery to the jobsite as needed. Keeping all the loads stored and staged at one location facilitated scheduling and transportation – saving time and money.

There are many benefits to Atrium Health’s decision to use Galvan Industries for hot-dip galvanizing on this project. Knowing the coating will keep the parking structure maintenance free for decades in the future is always an added benefit for specifying HDG. The project team and owners of the hospital can rest easy knowing they chose the best coating system for a long, cost-efficient parking solution.

Specifying HDG helped the hospital save money during construction and will also save money in the future thanks to HDG’s maintenance free longevity. The savings over time will allow Atrium Health more opportunities for future expansions to benefit the community.

About the AGA

Founded in 1935, the American Galvanizers Association (AGA) is a non-profit trade association dedicated to serving the needs of fabricators, architects, specifiers, and engineers, providing technical support on today’s innovative applications and state-of-the-art technological developments in hot-dip galvanizing for corrosion control. The AGA maintains a large technical library, provides multimedia seminars, and offers a toll-free technical support hotline to assist specifiers in North America.

About Galvan Industries, Inc.

Located in Harrisburg, N.C., Galvan Industries has provided the ultimate in corrosion control to steel fabricators and manufacturers since 1958. The first hot-dip galvanizing operation in the Carolinas, the company has grown to become the largest capacity contract galvanizer in the Southeast. For details, or to place an order, call Galvan Industries at (704) 455-5102, Fax (704) 455-5215; e-mail: