Montreal Hospital the largest health care construction project in North America

At 21 stories tall and 3 million sq ft, CHUM is the largest health care construction project in North America.

By CannonDesign November 15, 2016

CannonDesign + NEUF architect(e)s have publicly unveiled details of nearly a decade of work on the Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM), the largest health care construction project in North America and one of the largest current health care projects in the world. Now nearing completion of its first phase, the CHUM teaching hospital is also the largest public-private partnership (P3) health care project in Canadian history, set to revitalize an entire sector of Montreal’s urban core.

Beyond the logistical scope of merging three aging hospitals-St-Luc, Hotel-Dieu, and Notre Dame-under one roof, the CHUM project is a prime example of thoughtful architecture solving highly complex problems, with social infrastructure and urban renewal as integral components to its design. The 22-story complex, spanning more than 3 million sq ft and encompassing two full city blocks, will play an important role in regenerating the neglected east end of Montreal’s downtown core, reconnecting the city’s urban fabric, and anchoring the Quartier de la Sante, Montreal’s new health care district. The team continually pushed the envelope for quality of design throughout the process, whether in its use of parametric design on the building envelope, the use of 3-D-printed models in coordination, an innovative approach to the integration of heritage components, and an intense use of technology to facilitate communication between team members.

The complex will create a space with 772 single-bed patient rooms, 39 operating theaters, and more than 400 clinics and examination rooms.

Nearly 180 architects across 15 offices worldwide have worked on CHUM. To ensure consistency, the team set strict protocols. "It wasn’t going to be enough to just design the building," said Christine Cavataio, AIA. "We needed to design the workflow as well."

In late 2011, CannonDesign and NEUF hosted a project delivery meeting, which included each firm’s quality control and BIM leaders and the project’s BIM consultant, Boston-based CDV Systems, to establish a road map for the design and documentation process. These protocols applied to both routine and BIM-specific tasks, from email correspondence and transmittals to building equipment content and reference details in the Revit model.

The project has also incorporated large-scale works of art into the architecture, to "blur the lines between the two" and provide a "more human experience to the visitor and staff," said Azad Chichmanian of NEUF.

The clinical design and programming solution for CHUM stresses efficiency, clarity between front and back of house, and flexibility. Modular design, repetition, standardization, and colocated services yields the highest staff efficiency while reducing errors and providing the greatest value in construction and maintenance. Patient healing is supported in 772 single-bed patient rooms designed to accommodate family members and aid in the recovery process. The majority of the patient rooms overlook expansive healing gardens filled with local medicinal plants and enjoy some of the best views in Montreal.

The complexity and scale of CHUM required an organized and efficient P3 approach. The project is being completed in two phases. Phase 1, which will be completed in the fall of 2016, consists of the hospital and ambulatory building. Phase 2 is set for completion in 2021 and includes the 500-seat auditorium and office building.

-This article was originally appeared on CannonDesign. CannonDesign is a CFE Media content partner.