Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal


Designing the mechanical, electrical, and security systems for one of North America’s largest P3 acute-care hospitals required a comprehensive understanding of the crucial demands placed on a hospital’s electrical system; knowledge of the intent and intricacies of codes and standards; value-engineering approaches gleaned from alternate project delivery projects; and lessons learned from complex redevelopment projects.

The Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (translated as University of Montreal Health Centre, or CHUM) is a mega-hospital complex designed to replace three existing hospitals in Montreal. One of the largest P3 hospitals in North America, it occupies more than 2.5 city blocks with more than 334,000 m2 (3.5+ million ft2) of floor space.

The CHUM project has been honoured with ~30 awards, including Canada's top engineering award, the Schreyer Award 2018 for HH Angus, plus an ACEC Award of Excellence and three Illumination Engineering Society 2018 Awards for HH Angus’ lighting designs for the Passerelle Skybridge, the Steeple, and Interior Lighting.

The hospital complex consists of a main 20-storey acute care block, with five levels underground. The upper floors house 775 beds in single rooms, and the lower floors contain diagnostic and treatment functions, including a large emergency department, 39 operating rooms, 7 MRIs and a full cancer centre with 12 bunkers. Distinct blocks house ambulatory care clinics, office space and logistics. Our scope also included two large data centres.

The facility has been certified LEED® Silver. HH Angus responded to a number of restrictions and requirements in the RFP with alternative approaches that were subsequently implemented, benefitting the project in terms of better functional use of space, flexibility for the future, cost savings and significantly improved energy efficiency.

Mechanical Engineering | Electrical Engineering | Security Systems Design

Size: 3,800,000 ft2 | Status: Phase 1 - 2017 | Ongoing renovations and upgrades | Winner - 2018 Schreyer Award, Canada's top engineering project award

Montréal, Quebec

Mechanical, electrical and security system designs were provided to facilitate concurrent development | More than 50 Revit® models linked | Project included components that would help future modification of the facility | Certified LEED Silver

A proven P3 approach

HH Angus developed an approach to deliver consistency and standardization of mechanical and electrical products with multiple contracts and installation contractors. To facilitate the concurrent development of multiple parts of the project, more than 50 Revit models were linked. This allowed work to proceed on construction documents for the core and shell of the building (including services), while design development continued in the clinical areas of the building.

Experience creates long-term efficiency

The RFP mandated a number of restrictions on the ventilation system that would have required two full intermediate mechanical floors and would have severely compromised future flexibility. We worked with CHUM and the proponent team to develop an alternative approach from which numerous benefits resulted, including the ability to modify occupancy and enable future renovations, which allowed an extra clinical floor to be constructed under the zoning height restriction.  

Delivering more value

The RFP required a distinct air handling unit for each functional department, as well as restrictions on unit size and floors served. HH Angus proposed the use of larger, 100 percent outdoor air units serving multiple floors. We proved the merits of this approach to CHUM from an infection control perspective.

Proving a better solution to save energy

The RFP did not allow the use of heat recovery wheels due to perceived infection control concerns. We used 20+ years of successful experience with heat wheels to prove the approach to the client and compliance team. The RFP was modified to allow the use of heat wheels, enabling a much more cost effective and energy efficient solution.

Saving the client money

The RFP mandated a standby air handling unit for each critical care space, which would have required much higher capital and operating costs over the life of the building. We recommended manifolding a number of air handling units together to share the redundant capacity. This approach considerably increased overall reliability of the systems while reducing operating costs.  

Robust, reliable, cost-effective electrics

Similar components in the electrical infrastructure were procured in separate equipment tender packages to obtain best pricing directly from the corresponding vendors. The installation scope was divided into sectors within the building and awarded to separate electrical contractors. This “carving up” of the design scope into multiple tender packages required a high degree of coordination with the DBJV, and was effective in keeping this massive ongoing project on track with budget and schedule.

Multifunctional security system design

Our Angus Connect Division designed a fully convergent IP-based (Internet Protocol) security system and the supporting IT infrastructure required for a large-scale Cisco high availability, medical grade network. We designed an IP-based integrated multimedia security system that includes several thousand IP-based cameras, intelligent card readers, and other security devices located throughout the hospital complex. This system includes PoE (Power over Ethernet)-controlled architectural door hardware connected to Cisco’s high availability medical grade network.

Discrete segments of the security system are reserved for clinical observation, parking control, visitor management, patient wandering and duress applications. Multiple control facilities were provided across the hospital, using multicasting over VLAN, configured on Cisco LAN.

The security system was designed to support sophisticated client “use and workflow cases”, providing interoperability, SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) and SOI (Service Oriented Infrastructure).

Angus Connect integrated all aspects of the security systems into a seamless and efficient operation, leveraging the most current technology wherever possible to improve efficiency, reliability and safety, thus simplifying information flow and access to users.