Niagara Health is planning to build Canada’s first WELL certified healthcare facility

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The South Niagara Project – a new South Niagara hospital – has been registered with the International WELL Building Institute – a commitment to work towards becoming WELL v2 certified.

If successful, the new hospital would become the first WELL® certified healthcare facility in Canada – focused on the health and well-being of staff, physicians, volunteers, patients, families, caregivers and the Niagara community.

“We are very fortunate to be in a position to plan for a new hospital in Niagara. Building from the ground up allows us to look at health in every aspect,” said John Bragagnolo, Niagara Health board chair.

Construction of the South Niagara hospital is expected to take approximately four years once ground is broken – targeted for 2022. The site is at Biggar Road and Montrose Road in Niagara Falls, just off the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW).

According to the current timeframe, an RFQ will be released in Winter 2021, followed by an RFP in Fall 2021. Construction is anticipated to begin in Fall 2022 and the project will be completed in Fall 2026.

“The spaces we live and work in everyday have a significant impact on people. By examining the amount of exposure to light, air quality, thermal comfort and mental health strategies, the South Niagara Project will better align the relationship between the surrounding environment and our health.”

Using a unified standard and a dynamic scorecard, the WELL digital platform will guide the project team through the development of the South Niagara Project and will set out project-specific parameters.  The parameters will be built to include multiple opportunities for staff, physician and community engagement.

It’s based on ten concepts: air, water, nourishment, light, movement, thermal comfort, sound, materials, mind and community.  Each concept aims to improve building design, operations and the overall impact on the occupant’s specific body systems such as Cardiovascular, Digestive, Endocrine, Immune, Muscular, and Respiratory.

WELL announced last week that it has certified more than 500-million-square-feet of buildings. The milestone follows this an earlier announcement that the number of WELL Accredited Professionals (APs) and registrants has exceeded 10,000 – further evidence of the accelerating growth of the global movement to help people thrive through better buildings and communities and stronger organizations.

“With more than 4,000 projects in nearly 60 countries and spanning all space types – offices, schools, hotels, residences and more – it’s clear that this second wave of sustainability has gathered powerful momentum,” said IWBI Chairman and CEO Rick Fedrizzi.

“To reach a half-billion square feet of spaces applying WELL is to positively impact the health and well-being of more people in more places and to begin to truly change the narrative around how we design and operate the spaces where we spend our time.

In November 2019, the South Niagara Project team – in partnership with Infrastructure Ontario – released Planning, Design and Conformance (PDC) Request for Proposal.

The PDC consultant’s role will be to prepare the planning and design documents to include in the final RFP to the project company that will design and build our new South Niagara Hospital.

The Project team, along-side Infrastructure Ontario, hosted a meeting in Toronto to present an overview of the project and finely detail the responsibilities of the PDC RFP to interested consultants. The successful consultant will be chosen in 2020. This is a big step in ensuring our project is on-time.

“While Niagara Health excels at providing well-being programs across all of our sites, we are very proud to take on the endeavor to lead the way in designing Canada’s first healthcare facility that will be built to further advance health and well-being and help our staff, physicians and volunteers work, live, perform and feel their best,” said Dr. Tom Steward, Niagara Health CEO.

“Thanks to an evolving and growing evidence base, we will know how to design a facility that will fuel our bodies, keep us moving, inspire our best work and facilitate a good night’s sleep.”

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