Photo: Ed Eng

Wood helps create new model for health care

The North Bay Regional Health Centre is considered a new model for health care in Canada, thanks in part to the generous use of structural and decorative wood elements to help create a healing environment. The building, which includes a 275-bed District Hospital and 113-bed Regional Mental Health Centre, was the first to use heavy timber in a B-2 Occupancy (care and treatment) under the Ontario Building Code. This required special provisions related to fire safety, such as the use of 2-hour firewalls to separate the complex into smaller buildings for the purpose of design. Among its other innovations, the Centre was the first hospital to provide 100% fresh air to every room with one complete air change per hour and was the first LEED®-registered health care centre in Ontario.

Project Details

Located at the eastern end of Lake Nipissing on the voyageur route linking Lake Superior to salt water, North Bay, in modern times, has a diversified economy and also serves as a transportation and service hub for resource-rich northern Ontario. With a local population of 56,000 and a much larger regional population, investigations began in the late 1990s to review the adequacy of three aging hospitals and options for refurbishment or replacement. Detailed analysis of the existing facilities and the region’s health care needs resulted in the decision to build a new facility.

The North Bay Regional Health Centre (NBRHC) is comprised of the District Hospital (acute care) and the Regional Mental Health Centre (specialized and forensic mental health services).

The North Bay Regional Health Centre is a new model for health care in Canada. In addition to the generous use of structural and decorative wood elements to help create a healing environment, it includes many firsts for Canadian health care.

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