Canadian Consulting Engineer

Ottawa Hospital construction goes full tilt

A dispute over tender documents that came in 44 seconds late has ended peacefully in Ottawa. The Ottawa Hospital's...

June 14, 2004   Canadian Consulting Engineer

A dispute over tender documents that came in 44 seconds late has ended peacefully in Ottawa. The Ottawa Hospital’s three campuses are all undergoing huge expansions, including major additions to the General Campus on Smythe Road in the city’s southeast. On April 12, the tender documents for the new construction at the General Campus were due but one of the three large contractors that was bidding — Ellis Don — missed the deadline by just 44 seconds. An hour later the hospital accepted the late tender, which ended up being the lowest at just over $94 million.
A court battle looked likely, with the two contractors who had complied with the deadline – Aecon and PCL – upset that the hospital had accepted the bid. However, since then the hospital has changed its requirements, adding a new floor and an additional 74-bed in-patient unit, and is now reissuing the tender call in July.
The scale of the construction work going on at the hospital’s campuses is massive. At the General Campus on Smythe Road the hospital is adding a new Critical Care Wing with 17 operating rooms as well as doubling the Emergency Department and adding a Centre for Stem Cell Research and a 70,000-s.f. regional laboratory, and diagnostic imaging facilities.
At the Civic Campus on Carling Avenue southwest of the National Capital Region, construction is under way in six phases to retrofit and expand its Emergency Department. The hospital is about to extensive new facilities in the entrance area, and at the end of June Phase 3 will begin, which includes a new Psychiatric Emergency Unit and Trauma Centre. The final phase, due for completion by November 2005, includes new offices, student and teaching facilities. At the Riverside Campus plans include new outpatient clinics and diagnostic imaging.
Eschewing design-build or other public-private arrangements, the Ottawa Hospital works in the traditional way and has used the same consultants for many years. They include Cleland Jardine Engineering as structural engineers who have worked with the hospital since 1995, and R.J. McKee Engineering as mechanical and electrical engineers who have been consultants since 1997. McKee designs the HVAC systems, fire alarms, lighting and power, as well as special medical systems such as medical gas, nurse call, and high efficient filtration systems for infection control. The architects for many of the projects are Lowry, Otto, Erskine & Williams (LOEW).

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