Clinical Services Building Royal Inland Hospital

As Originally Seen in Award Magazine

As regions evolve, so too must the services provided by hospitals – and Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops, which accommodates patients throughout the Thompson, Cariboo and Shuswap regions, is no exception. Its new Clinical Services Building (CSB), nestled in the hill directly below the main hospital grounds, is a shining example of a vigorous commitment to providing the best in health care.

The targeted LEED Gold CSB includes an expanded and enhanced space for medical outpatient services, such as IV therapy, the vascular improvement program, laboratory, pre-surgical screening, cardiology and neurodiagnostics. The facility includes clinical education space for the UBC medical school programs, as well as three retail spaces on Columbia Street.

The most striking visual elements of the new facility are an enclosed pedestrian bridge to the existing hospital, plus a green roof beside a staff patio towards the top of the building. The first four levels of the six-storey building are dedicated to parking, which is in chronic short supply throughout the hospital grounds.

Kris Kristjanson, Royal Inland Hospital health service director, describes CSB as a design-build effort with a host of challenges that were systematically overcome by a team of professionals headed by Kasian Architecture Interior Design and Planning Ltd., Bird Design-Build Construction Inc. and a small army of trades. “Design-wise, we wanted a facility that would be comprehensive and appealing to patients and staff,” he says. Construction-wise, the most obvious challenge was the extensive excavation required to fit the building into a steep grade.

Kristjanson goes on to note that CSB had to reflect the surrounding Kamloops landscape. “That meant adding features like wood on the front of the structure to complement the glass cladding and the metallic grey tones.” Wood is also used extensively in the interior to minimize the institutional ambiance.

Bird was named the design builder in March of 2014; in addition to considerable experience (it had design-built the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre in Surrey), the company brought a successful working history with Kasian and its senior project manager, George Miu. “Interior Health wanted the CSB to be a gateway for the hospital, so a number of components were incorporated into the design early in the process, including the redesign of stairs up the hill to the west,” says Bird project manager Fraser McIntosh. “We redeveloped this area with intermediate landings that act as small plaza areas.”

The building components were painstakingly developed over the bulk of 2014, and it became obvious that in terms of visual appeal and practical function, the pedestrian bridge connecting the top level of CSB to the hospital would be a highlight. “Although the bridge was a challenge in terms of connecting the new bridge to the existing floorplates, the end result speaks for itself – it’s stunning,” says Miu. “The glass curtainwalls are transparent, warm, inviting and let in an abundance of light.”

The working drawings were completed in phases, and Bird broke ground on site when the first drawings were delivered in June of 2014. The IFC drawing package was finalized in November of 2014. “There were many challenging aspects to the construction process,” says McIntosh. “Our construction activities had to have minimal impact on the surrounding community, plus space is at a premium. We had to schedule all road and lane shutdowns with the hospital and have flaggers on site to co-ordinate traffic.”

Bird’s skills came increasingly into play as construction steadily progressed. “The CSB needs to communicate with the existing hospital. Systems integration including paging, fire alarm, security, pneumatic tube, nurse call and phone systems was a priority and involved much input from various Interior Health departments,” says McIntosh.

The design-build team also worked hard to create a unique wayfinding package for CSB. “We created a forestry theme in line with the surrounding landscape, and assigned each floor a distinct wood species: alder, pine, and so on, with colour applications that would enable patients to easily navigate,” says Miu.

Mechanical consultant Crossey Engineering Ltd. and electrical consultant Applied Engineering Solutions Ltd. (AES) worked with the design-build team to develop systems that would save CSB energy. Eventually, these solutions would be 22 per cent above the ASHRAE rate of 90.1-2007 for LEED, meeting the needs of the building’s parkade (which requires lighting 24/7).

Site preparation for the pedestrian bridge began in August 2015, and after much co-ordination the steel structure was erected in September of 2015. “The extensive co-ordination and prep work paid off and the steel structure fit perfectly,” says McIntosh.

The exterior cladding of CSB is a mixture of curtainwall wood composite panel, insulated metal panel and painted concrete with glulam elements along Columbia Street. As the building neared completion, the tower cranes used extensively on the site and visible from many vantage points in Kamloops came down to allow for the development of the retail components.

As of March 2016 the design-build team was creating 350 additional new parking stalls for Royal Inland, and CSB was on schedule to open this summer – something that Kristjanson keenly anticipates.

“This facility goes a long way not only in providing the best care for regional residents but also attracting the best and brightest professionals to our hospital. CSB was a long time in planning and the construction process was lengthy, but everything was extremely well organized; the design-build team made it a positive experience all around.”

311 Columbia Street, Kamloops, B.C.

Interior Health

Kasian Architecture Interior Design and Planning Ltd.


Bird Design-Build Construction Inc.

Weiler Smith Bowers Consulting Structural Engineers 

Crossey Engineering Ltd.

AES Engineering

Aplin & Martin Consultants Ltd.

Horizon Engineering Inc.

Kane Consulting

PMG Landscape Architects

55,500 square feet (for CSB outpatient service levels) 
204,000 square feet in total (including parkade and retail space) 

$79.8 million

Clinical Services Building Royal Inland Hospital : News & Media : Bird Construction