March 2021

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66 | M A R C H 2 0 2 1 E X T ER I O R P H OTO G R A P H Y BY C A M ERO N OS B O R N E /CO U RT E SY S TA N T EC; I N T ER I O R P H OTO G R A P H Y CO U RT E SY F R A S ER H E A LT H AU T H O R I T Y Royal Columbian Hospital Redevelopment – Phase 1 ROYAL COLUMBIAN HOSPITAL REDEVELOPMENT – PHASE 1 by NATALIE BRUCKNER T he estimated $1.49-billion redevelopment of the Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster is the largest govern- ment-funded healthcare project in B.C.'s history and arguably one of the most impressive too. As the oldest hospital in B.C., as well as being one of its busiest, the redevelopment was necessary to meet the current and future demand for services, address critical infrastruc- ture issues, and maintain the highest standards of care for the most com- plex and critically ill patients from across B.C. "The original 30-bed Sherbrooke Centre was built back in the 1950s as a nursing dormitory, but went on to house inpatient and outpatient psy- chiatry programs as well as programs serviced by the psychology department and some mental health and addictions group therapy programs. It was recog- nized that there was a need to create a new patient-centred facility for people and families coping with acute men- tal health and substance use challenges and in 2015 government approval was given for phase one of the project to begin," explains Sharat Chandra, chief project officer at Fraser Health. Phase one of the three phase proj- ect consisted of the construction of a new 75-bed Mental Health Substance Use (MHSU) building, a state-of-the art Energy Centre (EC) serving both the new and existing campus, under- ground parking, and a new Campus Communication Hub (CCH). It was necessary to have a team that would not only understand the intricacies of a healthcare project of this scale, but one whose innova- tive approach could help meet the needs of all user groups. With Fraser Health Authority at the helm, Bird Construction Company and Stantec came onboard bringing with them a wealth of former knowledge and expe- rience to take phase one through from design to completion. Originally, the idea was to house the various components of phase one in separate buildings, however the design builder came up with the idea to integrate it all under one roof. "It was ingenious, but posed the ques- tion of how to bring the esthetics and the engineering side of things like the CCH and energy centre all into one building. What they achieved is phe- nomenal," says Chandra. Before construction could begin, the team at Bird needed to demolish the existing parking lot on which the new building would be located. "We were awarded the project at the end of 2016 and we mobilized the site at the end of 2017. That kicked off with tearing apart the existing parking lot. The site itself was a little challenging as we were building tight on three sides while the hospital was still operational, so delivery sequencing had to be ade- quate," explains Steve Webb at Bird. To begin with, four levels of under- ground parking were constructed to provide more than 400 parking stalls for the campus, which, while working on a sloped site provided no signifi- cant challenges to Bird. Work then began on the new six-storey 393,000-square-feet facil- ity. Architect Stantec took a fearless approach to its design using state- of-the-art software to ensure the building would meet all requirements for today and the future, while also taking into account the community in which the building was located. Using high-quality building mate- rials, glazing, and a complementary colour scheme which is compatible with the surrounding area, as well as multiple recessed rooflines, Stantec created a visually appealing facade mirroring the mountainous vistas. "The design of the facility is inspired by the constant beauty and diversity of the Fraser River as a source of life and celebrates the theme of movement – a journey for- ward to renewal and mental wellness, where patients and their families are empowered to follow their path in an uplifting environment on their voyage of self-discovery and inde- pendence," says Brian Christianson, Stantec's design lead on the project. "The facility design incorporates both patient-friendly and elder-friendly concepts to create a positive and wel- coming environment." Head inside the building and the colours and materials chosen provide

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