Concrete Innovation

construction hats

Through practices such as Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Integrated Project Delivery (IPD), Petra focuses on staying ahead of trends and industry innovation in construction management methods and delivery.

According to Building Design + Technology, new techniques and products are innovating the concrete industry. Among these innovations, three products are changing the pouring, drying and finishing of concrete to increase efficiency in construction.

The ThermaEZE product enhances thermal insulation in poured concrete walls. ThermaEZE, a system of expanded polystyrene foam panels, are placed within the wall before the pour and are held in place by a web structure which then becomes embedded within the concrete. The system includes fastening strips, found on the exposed face of the wall, which allow for an smoother application of drywall and other finishes.

Concrete drying times can be significantly improved using Aridus Rapid Drying Concrete, a ready-mix product which combines fast drying time, high early strength, compressive strength, and low permeability. The Aridus product was instrumental in adapting to schedule changes on a project at Billy Earl Dade Middle School in Dallas in which the 14-month construction phase was revised to ten months. Using the product to cover 120,000 square feet of floors, the significant increase in drying time enabled the final flooring to be installed 21 days after the concrete was poured, compared to the normal minimum duration of four months.

In the area of concrete finishing products, the SUPERCAP System by Laticrete uses a LEED contributing, GREENGUARD certified, low alkali, self-leveling cement-based technology, combined with a computer-controlled mobile blending unit. Recently used at Swedish Hospital and Medical Office Building, Issaquah, Washington, the concrete system “eliminated concerns about flatness inherent to concrete slab work with structural steel buildings,” enabling the construction team to place about 20,000 square feet per day of concrete, compared to the average 15,000 square feet per day achieved through traditional troweling methods.

Building Design + Technology, Breakthroughs in Concrete Technology:

Welcome to Petra’s Blog!



Welcome to Petra’s blog! The content and posts on Petra’s site aim to share meaningful stories and useful information related to innovations in healthcare, wellness, and the construction industry. We also hope to share some of our own stories related to health, as well as to highlight the great variety of professional backgrounds that we possess. Lastly, we aspire to maintain regular updates on what we’re doing at Petra, as well as the great things that our industry partners are doing, to creatively lead the way in transforming healthcare delivery.

For those of you unfamiliar with Petra, allow us to provide a bit of background. Petra originated from the Design and Construction Department at St. Joseph Health. In January of 2011, Petra became independent, along with its parent company, the Innovation Institute. This action enabled Petra the opportunity to serve other hospitals and health systems while continuing to work with St. Joseph Health.

Petra partners with hospitals to achieve long-term visions to address the trends of the ever-changing healthcare industry, both now and into the future. Petra offers construction management, capital planning, financial controls and risk assessment, and overall owners’ representation for hospitals and health systems.

We are currently at 14 hospital sites, managing everything from construction of projects to facilitating long term strategic plans with the hospitals’ boards and leadership. We engage hospitals and their communities in network assessments, which tell a bigger picture of where their region is heading, providing them with concrete research in order for them to make more informed strategic and financial decisions. In our management of hospitals’ capital expenditures, we provide leadership with the tools needed to assess the risk associated with each proposed initiative.

Our goal, in whichever capacity of work we are providing, is to enable hospital leaders to make informed decisions which enable them to focus on what is most important in their role within the organization.

… and that is Petra. We look forward to contributing great positive change to the growing and dynamic world of healthcare.