Silver Thomas Hanley and Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership design first Canadian acute hospital to achieve Gold LEED.
The 60,000 sq m Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Cancer Centre provides Fraser Valley in British Columbia with a 300-bed facility with a wide range of services to patients, including an integrated cancer centre a University-affiliated research and education centre. This is British Columbia’s highest profile Public-Private-Partnership (P3) and Canada’s first P3 hospital, winning numerous PPP awards.
Designed by Australian based health planners and architects Silver Thomas Hanley in joint venture with Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership,
one of the key design features was making care-giving efficient and productive. The facility is divided into six pods, each performing a different role - overnight stays, outpatients, diagnostics, etc. - but closely grouped around a central 24-metre-high atrium designed to provide a distinctive non-institutional feel. Moving from one pod to another is simplicity itself, reducing fatigue for those moving around and ensuring that care, diagnostics and treatment are delivered as productively as possible.
Another key feature was to provide more privacy and choice to patients. The normal standard for Canadian hospitals is four bed wards, however this hospital design has only one or two-bed rooms, providing increased patient control over their environment and privacy, whilst maintaining staff observation. Large picture windows to bedrooms capture daylight and views to snow capped mountains.
The hospital provides a calm healing atmosphere. Narrow floor plate design and numerous respite areas of courtyards and gardens, promote an outward looking internal environment, linked to nature with abundant daylight. The four-storey atrium links the facility’s four quadrants, pouring daylight into the heart of the facility through the corridors into the surrounding floors whilst also providing a strong wayfinding feature. Vibrant colours are used extensively to provide a lively, uplifting, engaging interior.
Façade materials of brick, glass and metal clad panelling are used to break down the mass of the building and relate contextually to its surroundings. 42% of materials were manufactured locally, with 35% recycled content in construction material. The desire for a 'green' hospital was realised when it was awarded LEED Gold in October 2009.
Post occupancy evaluations in the 12 months since commission show that the design is successfully providing an environment that is therapeutic to patients and attracting high calibre staff. “The clinical folks think that they have died and gone to heaven. The public is tickled pink” said Walter Hiller, Chief Project Officer and Health Co Representative, ARHCC Inc.