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Auditing Resilient Design

New St Paul's Hospital Design

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The New St. Paul’s Hospital and Health Campus Project Team trials a verification process to keep climate resilient design at the forefront

For the new St. Paul’s Hospital, green design starts from the ground up. Planning for an innovative, integrated new hospital and health campus began in early 2015, with the business plan approved in 2019. The new St. Paul’s Hospital on the Jim Pattison Medical Campus is expected to feature 548 modern inpatient rooms and incorporate the latest in medical technology – and to have sustainability and climate resilience baked into the project’s foundation. The new hospital is expected to open in 2027.

Specifically, the hospital is being designed to meet the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold standard. The project is focusing on sustainable design and reducing environmental impact, as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions. To enhance resilience, the hospital will also, in times of need, function as a post-disaster facility. In this capacity, the hospital will be able to operate self-sufficiently during and after a potential event, with emergency power and fuel supplies that can support the entire hospital for 72 hours.

The new St. Paul’s Hospital has been a major part of the Energy and Environmental Sustainability (EES) team’s journey in developing its Climate Resilience Guidelines. Appropriately, it is the first project where EES has initiated Step 4 of the process: the resilience compliance audit. To ensure these ambitious environmental design goals are met, the project team engaged the Integral Group to complete a compliance audit of the resilience measures proposed throughout the design. Integral Group conducted the resilience compliance audit from early 2021 to early 2022.

Starting the climate resilience conversation early in the concept planning stage established resilience as a prevalent influence in the new St. Paul’s Hospital design. The resilience compliance audit tool has been instrumental in motivating a multidisciplinary and collaborative compliance review, and an engaging design development process that ensures resilience requirements appropriately address climate vulnerabilities well into the future.”

Says Marc Dagneau, Senior Manager, Design & Project Delivery for the New St. Paul’s Hospital and Health Campus Project.

The audit has led to a wealth of learnings for the hospital design team (Stantec, PCL Construction), PHC project team and EES team. Given the lack of existing standards and precedents for completing this type of assessment, Integral Group began the audit by developing a brand new checklist template for each subsequent design stage the project will undergo.

Additionally, major steps were taken to keep resilience at front of mind. The hospital project team evaluated design choices and worked collaboratively on new ones. They identified potential climate hazards and impacts, as well as resilient design measures that could be implemented immediately (or pathways for later implementation) and equal-or-better design alternatives. Integral Group conducted compliance meetings with the design team during each design stage. The EES team also stayed engaged throughout the project to help navigate the new process.

Not only does this audit strengthen the new St. Paul’s Hospital design, but it also creates learnings that can be applied on other design projects in the future. While the main outcome of Integral Group’s resilience and compliance audit is the confirmation that the new hospital meets established resilience requirements, the compliance summary report will also indicate areas requiring further work, residual risks to be managed and gaps to address. The outcomes will serve as a living document that can be expanded upon and adjusted—one that sets up project teams to design with the future in mind.

You can learn more about the sustainability and resiliency features of the new St. Paul’s Hospital here.