BC Children's and Women's Redevelopment Project - Clinical Support Building

Bird Design-Build Construction Inc. is the design-build contractor for the British Columbia Children's and Women's Redevelopment Project.

As Originally Seen in Award Magazine www.canadawide.com :



Every big project has to start somewhere, and the BC Children’s and Women’s Redevelopment Project is no exception.

The first step in the hospital’s re-design? To create a new space to house crucial services while existing buildings face demolition.

“Phase 1 is all about relocation and renovation,” explains Dave Ingram, chief project officer. He adds that Phase 2 is “the heart, literally and figuratively, of the project” as it will introduce a new acute care centre, children’s inpatient units, an emergency department, medical imaging, a surgical suite, hematology/oncology and intensive care.

“The Clinical Support Building is a whole new build. There aren’t a lot of design builds in the health care sector, so this was exciting,” says Ingram.

The two-storey, 53,561-square-foot facility is an office-type environment with 79 underground parking stalls. It is home to administrative offices, psychology and social work departments, youth health and shape down clinics, several research offices and also supplies the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Medicine with teaching space. 

A series of single and double offices, meeting rooms, and three video conference rooms provide ample space for research and support services. “Since the building serves as a clinical support building – accommodating programs from the existing building to make way for the new acute care centre – space uses will be changing during the building’s life,” explains Brian Hulme, principal at Kasian Architecture Interior Design and Planning Ltd.

“Providing flexibility for future changes was one of the main criteria addressed during the design stage,” says Hulme. To do that, Kasian designed a structural grid larger than the minimum prescribed in the RFP, minimized shear walls on the flexible floor plate and consolidated fixed areas like washrooms in one area. The structure can also accommodate future point loads if necessary in the future.

Aesthetically, the Clinical Support Building (CSB) was designed to fit with the look of the facility’s other structures. That meant lots of clear and coloured glass, and plenty of wood, in accordance with the Wood First Initiative. The CSB features glulam columns and beams, wood chord open web joists, wood stud walls, exterior wood panels and siding, and wood counters. “Wood building materials promote climate-friendly construction as a result of the reduced energy required to create wood products and the sequestered carbon in the wood itself,” says Hulme. “The use of local wood also supports the economies of our forest-dependent communities.”



There are green features to be found throughout the CSB, as it was designed to meet LEED Gold standards. “Even though it’s not a large building, we are quite proud of the energy reduction targets that we are aiming for compared to a typical office building of its size,” says Jason Nelson, project manager at Integral Group, Inc. “The building has targeted a 43 per cent reduction in energy compared to a typical office building as defined by ASHRAE 90.1 – 2007, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings.”

A superior building envelope, passive design elements like external solar shading and low power-consumption lighting systems should make that target easy to reach.

A variable refrigerant flow fan coil system provides increased energy savings by redirecting rejected hot air from spaces that require constant cooling to other areas. “This is a marked improvement over a traditional building mechanical system because normally the heat rejected from the building would be sent out to the atmosphere, and any heating required for the building would have to be produced using a heating source such as a gas-fired boiler,” Nelson explains.

Energy recovery ventilators further save energy by reducing air when the building is lightly occupied and recycling heat from the building exhaust air stream.

Heating isn’t the only way the CSB will stay green. Highly reflective roofing materials minimize heat island effects, a stormwater management plant will reduce runoff, low-flow plumbing fixtures keep water usage to a minimum and bicycle parking and electric car recharging stalls are included in the underground parking space. To make sure the building is operating as efficiently as planned, energy meters will collect real-time consumption data, measuring the building’s lighting, HVAC systems and electrical outlets to determine how the building can be even more efficient.

Energy-saving lighting and control systems were a must. LED and fluorescent lamps, as well as sensor-controlled lighting help prevent wasted electricity.

Electrical consultants Genivar also handled the building’s emergency power supply system, communications structure, fire detection and security system. For medical services, emergency preparation is of the utmost importance, so Genivar made sure to include a backup plan. “In the event of a power failure, the emergency lighting and part of normal lighting and power will be automatically backed by the generator,” says Ali Rahimpour, project manager at Genivar. “Also, the power distribution system is equipped with switch-gear to manually transfer the entire building load to another normal power supply or generator in the event of a prolonged power interruption.”

The landscape, integrated to fit with the rest of the hospital campus, is comprised of native plants and drought-tolerant ornamentals. Some plants were salvaged from the original site. “The majestic London Plane trees and Akebono Cherry trees all survived the construction despite being on the only two access edges,” says Patricia Campbell, partner with PMG Landscape Architects Ltd. The CSB landscaping is also the first leg in the hospital’s Wellness Walk project, offering widened sidewalks, garden areas and places to sit and rest. This creates a therapeutic walking route for patients. 

As with any project, there are challenges. For the CSB, the confined and active site proved to be an impediment. “Relocating an existing high-pressure steam line while maintaining existing facility operations was a challenge, too,” says Hulme. “Meeting existing grades to allow both the vehicular traffic and pedestrian access and exits to work, including handicapped accessibility, was also difficult.” Thoughtful planning and careful communication with the team helped overcome these problems, and the project was completed on time and on budget.

Though the new CSB may be a beautiful, high-tech space, Ingram wants to point out that the motives behind the redevelopment project are rooted in the best of intentions. “Facilities are only there to enable our ability to provide care,” he says. “Our focus is always safe, quality patient care.” Phase 3 of the project is to be completed by 2019. 
Bc Children's And Women's Redevelopment Project - Clinical Support Building : News & Media : Bird Construction