New mental health facility moves ahead at Royal Columbian Hospital

Via Fraser Health news release – Bird Design-Build Construction Inc. has been selected as the preferred proponent to build Royal Columbian’s new mental health facility and energy centre as part of phase one of the hospital’s redevelopment.

The selection of this preferred proponent follows an extensive evaluation of three teams shortlisted in December 2015, which were invited to submit proposals to design and build phase one’s new 75-bed mental health and substance use centre and energy centre. The proposal also included a multi-level underground parkade, associated tunnel and bridge connections to the existing hospital, IT network perimeter pathway, and IT communications hub.

“Improved mental health and substance use care is a priority area for government,” said Health Minister Terry Lake. “The new facility coming in phase one will help to address British Columbians’ increasing demand for mental health care services, advance care for seniors, and increase the capacity for outpatient care which links people to community mental health services.”

The next stage in the competitive selection process is to negotiate a performance-based contract with Bird Construction by early 2017. Construction on the new mental health facility and energy centre will begin soon after and is expected to finish in winter 2019. Details of the agreement and project cost will be made public after the agreement has been finalized.

The total cost of phase one of the redevelopment is $258.9 million, and includes a heliport move and temporary parking lots which are not part of this design-build contract.

“This is an important project milestone,” said Michael Marchbank, President and CEO of Fraser Health. “It brings Fraser Health one step closer to breaking ground on our new patient-centred facility for people and families coping with acute mental health and substance use challenges.”

An evaluation committee comprised of representatives of Fraser Health and Partnerships BC evaluated the proposals and appointed four evaluation teams to review and score each proposal. Evaluation teams included clinicians, staff, technology experts and consultants with specific expertise in health-care planning and operations, design, construction, and facilities operations.

A fairness advisor, John Singleton, of Singleton Urquhart LLP, was appointed to oversee and monitor the entire evaluation process to ensure it was fair and followed the requirements outlined in the request for proposals. He has reviewed the process and concluded the evaluations met the criteria of fairness, openness, transparency and integrity. The fairness advisor’s report will be available on Partnerships BC’s website at after the agreement has been finalized.

The new mental health facility and energy centre will be designed to qualify for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification, reflecting Fraser Health’s commitment to environmental sustainability.

Royal Columbian Hospital serves as a vital referral centre and regional centre of excellence for trauma, critical care, cardiac care, maternity, neonatal intensive care, acute mental health care, and neurosurgery. As British Columbia’s oldest hospital, and one of its busiest, it proudly provides expert care for the most seriously ill or injured and is one of two Level 1 adult trauma centres in B.C.