ferritometer is a rare and highly specialized machine which painlessly
measures levels of iron stored in the body. Its of great benefit
to children with life-threatening blood disorders, such as sickle cell
disease, thalassemia and hemachromatosis, who would otherwise have to
undergo painful, invasive procedures to monitor their condition. There
are only three ferritometers in the worldone in Italy, one in Germany,
and now one in Childrens Hospital & Research Center at Oakland.
The new Health Sciences Building, located on the CHORI (Childrens
Hospital Oakland Research Institute)campus, was designed to meet the machines
very specific technical requirements. The ferritometer cant be anywhere
near metal that contains iron. Its key component is a 2-inch magnet, cooled
to minus 425 degrees Fahrenheit, which is so sensitive that any kind of
magnetic vibrationsay, someone walking by with a hammercan
skew test results.
Constructing a home for equipment with such exacting specifications presented
unique challenges. Designers came up with some creative non-metallic (or
non-ferrous) alternatives to the steel rebar, nails, ductwork, concrete
reinforcing, flashing etc. used in standard construction. The anchor bolts
attaching the building to its foundation and much of the door hardware
are carbon fiber. Screws and nails are made of bronze, which contains
no iron. The rebar is fiberglass, and the mesh used for affixing plaster
to interior walls is plastic. PVC was used for ductwork and air grilles
are custom made of wood.
The equipment is technically demanding, but the kids wholl be coming
for treatment have needs, too. The building was also designed to be inviting.
The building is set away from the street and surrounded by trees and a
garden. Inside, 20-foot ceilings and large clerestory windows fill the
rooms with light.
The first patients are scheuled for treatments in June 2002. We anticipate
that theyand the ferritometerwill feel at home in the new
Health Sciences Building.
Monday, May 16, 2011 11:33 PM