On-Site Magazine

Acciona, Stuart Olson lauded for construction of northern BC Hospital


Construction Infrastructure LEED

Acciona and consortium partner Stuart Olson received the gold award in the general contractor over $40 million category from the Vancouver Regional Construction Association for the Fort St. John Hospital and Residential Care Facility.

The construction team were recognized for building the $237-millon P3 facility on time and on budget despite the many challenges that come with working in the harsh and remote climate of Fort St. John, B.C., which is more than 1,220 km northeast of Vancouver.

Since winter temperatures drop well below -30C in that part of Canada and frost can reach six feet deep, construction took place in phases during the three-year project.

Foundation work was done in the summer of 2009, but since the steel was yet to arrive, it had to be covered with heat radiant pipes to stop frost heaves and keep the temperature at 1C for many months. Once the main structure was in place, the hospital was bubble-wrapped in order for work to continue during the winter months.


And because of the city’s remote location, finding qualified workers was no easy task. Many were flown in from Edmonton, A.B. and trade students were hired from the local Northern Lights College as part of an apprenticeship program.

The facility was completed in May 2012 and is now one of the largest hospitals in northern Canada. It consists of a 55-bed hospital equipped with three operating rooms, an intensive care unit, a birthing centre, an emergency room, an endoscopy suite, and a residential annex with 123 beds for seniors.

The integrated health unit achieved a LEED gold rating, and the hospital’s sustainable features include storm water retention, surface water management, use of natural light, high-energy efficiency, reduction of volatile organic compounds and noise reduction acoustics.

Check out this short video about the making of the Fort St John Hospital:


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