Mercyhealth Hospital | Crystal Lake, IL

See The Collaboration

Mercyhealth Hospital & Physician Clinic

Crystal Lake, IL

Architect:  AECOM Services of Illinois, Inc.
General Contractor: Boldt Construction
Glazing Subcontractor: Reliant Contract Glass, Inc.


Longtime partnership plays key role in bringing hospital care and emergency services to Crystal Lake.


Good things take time.

Consider Mercyhealth Hospital & Physician Clinic, in Crystal Lake, Illinois.

In 2003, Mercy Health System announced plans to develop a hospital and attached medical center in Crystal Lake, a city of around 40,000 people less than an hour north of Chicago. Yet it wasn’t until 2017 that the system (now known as Mercyhealth) finally received a green light from the Illinois Health Facilities and Service Review Board for a 13-bed hospital, multi-specialty clinic, and 24-hour emergency room.

“This project has been a long … journey as we persisted in our efforts to bring emergency care and hospital services to the Crystal Lake community for the first time ever,” said Javon R. Bea, president and CEO of Mercyhealth, during the June 2021 groundbreaking.

The facility, which opened in July 2023, was well worth the wait. “It’s a real head-turner,” said Jorge Estrada, project manager for Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope (OBE). Ryan Deihs, project manager and estimator for Reliant Contract Glass, agreed, saying, “It’s a big, monumental, signature project for the city and for us.”

OBE provided 14,600 sf of glass, including insulating glass units with argon and spandrel architectural glass with low-E coating to enhance the building’s thermal performance, as well as Reliance® curtain wall, storefront and doors.

But time is only part of the “good things” equation. Digging a little deeper, it turns out good things also take a lot of hard work, expertise and, in this case, collaboration between longtime partners OBE and Reliant.

Packaging the glass and metal with OBE

Reliant understood the value of having both the architectural metal and glass from one supplier, in particular—OBE. Knowing from experience the quality of the products and services from their long-term partnership, Reliant worked with the awarded general contractor and the architect to get OBE approved.

“In order for us to bid it and get awarded it, we had to send the specs to OBE who used their expertise to provide products that would meet the spec and be approved by the architect,” Deihs said. “We were then able to package the metal and glass together with OBE.”

The decision to involve Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope went beyond having a single source supplier. “Our relationship with OBE is very good, probably the best that we have with any of our vendors,” Deihs said. “So when we went to them and said, ‘Can you meet the specs and the dates that we need to begin installing based on our schedule?’ OBE was able to meet them with the curtain wall, doors and glass. It was also knowing that OBE could get materials in a timely fashion.”

“A timely fashion” was important. The architect approved shop drawings in October of 2021. Reliant needed to begin installation by December of 2021. But the pandemic and the supply squeeze were in full swing. “Just to give you a perspective, at the time Reliant ordered the project, industry lead times were 10 weeks or more. Normally those lead times would be five to six weeks,” said Estrada. “But we worked together to get material orders in early and we inventoried the material for them, then we gave it to them in multiple releases, as they needed it.”

“This (project) was right in the middle of the biggest price increase our industry has ever seen, so we had to work closely with them on pricing” said Mike Bishop, an OBE sales rep for the Midwest Region. “We worked through that by doing some procurement up front. We had about 70 percent of the glass prior to the increase.” Deihs added, “Using OBE’s pricing helped us have a competitive number (to win the project).”

OBE also expedited the painting of the metal to meet Reliant’s, and the project’s, tight timeline.

A relationship built on mutual respect

“I think using the word ‘partnership’—as opposed to customer/vendor—truly means something whenever we’re talking about Reliant,” said Zane Keeling, regional sales director for OBE’s architectural glass. “They view us as a partner to help them be successful, and we view them the same way. Through loyalty and years of working together, we understand each other. And it makes it easy to do business in both directions.”

That foundation of trust is built on little things. Like Estrada letting Reliant know up-front that OBE’s high-performance Reliance® HTC curtain wall system would need pocket reducers on all four sides of the daylight opening, so they could account for that in the schedule. Or advising Reliant to counter-sync the screws, instead of having exposed fasteners. Or Estrada entering into AutoCAD each mullion, one by one, to ensure the success of the building’s striking segmented wall. It was an extra set of eyes that Reliant appreciated after performing similar CAD work on their own.

“It definitely feels like a team and a good partnership between us and OBE,” Deihs said. “It’s good to know that we can rely on someone or get the answers that we need in a timely fashion. Our GCs need everything as soon as possible and want answers as soon as possible.”

The final result: A source of pride

“This was a signature job for us,” Deihs said. “It’s one of our bigger projects and it’s about five minutes from our office so all of us drive by it quite a bit—and it’s one of those eye-catching projects where you see this big straight run of glass, and you think, ‘That’s pretty cool.’

“But then there’s that really big, monumental radiused, full-height curtain wall in the front of the building which used OBE Reliance-HTC high performance curtain wall and low-E spandrel glass, and it makes you look twice.” OBE’s Reliance curtain wall is front set to provide the seamless look of continuous glass.

The larger takeaway

Yes, this is a story about Chicago and Crystal Lake, but local success stories like this take place every day across America. OBE has more manufacturing, distribution and service locations than anyone in the industry. So when a facility like the one in Chicago needs back-up support, it can turn to nearby OBE facilities in its extensive network to ensure products are supplied on time. What may take weeks with competitors, can take a day with OBE.

“While we are a large company with a national footprint, each of our facilities have a lot local market knowledge and capabilities,” Estrada said. “We have local stocking facilities nationwide, but also a huge nationwide network of glass fabrication facilities and aluminum service centers. So we can expedite. We’re much more nimble than a lot of our competitors.”

“And in this case, being in the market locally, plus leveraging our scale with our suppliers and our network, allowed us to execute near flawlessly.”


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