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Behind the Project: Prince Albert Victoria Hospital

Victoria Hospital in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, is currently undergoing an expansion to better meet the needs of the surrounding community. In honour of International Women in Engineering Day on June 23, we spoke with four of the women behind this important and impactful project at Entuitive.

Amy Rohof, Associate, leads the project’s structural design, working with Brenna Loch and Aeron Mundell; and Shahrzad Pedram, Associate, leads the building envelope design, working closely with Sarika Nahal on the building envelope commissioning side of the project.

Thanks so much for sitting down with us Amy, Brenna, Shahrzad, and Aeron. Can you tell us a bit about this project?

Amy: The Prince Albert Victoria Hospital is expanding to include a new acute care tower connected to the existing facility. The new tower will feature a heliport on the roof, an expanded emergency department, larger operating rooms, pediatrics, maternity care, a NICU, diagnostics, and a First Nations and Métis cultural space. The new tower will increase the hospital’s capacity by 40% to 242 beds. We are working with PCL, our client, on this project.

We are proud to be working on this project that will not only positively impact the community but that also has many women in leadership roles on it.

Can you tell us about some of the technical challenges of this project?

Amy: From a structural standpoint, we’ve faced a couple of interesting challenges on this project. First, it’s an extremely fast-tracked project for a hospital of its size. Second, it’s a high-performing building that’s being built in quite a remote location. Both of these factors have required us to work in close collaboration with the entire project team.

Shahrzad: From a building envelope standpoint, we of course face those challenges as well. In addition, we must also take into consideration the northern cold climate. As a hospital, the building will have to maintain very specific interior environmental conditions for the clinical spaces, and as such the building envelope must also be robust and perform under extreme conditions.

International Women in Engineering Day is coming up, and we are proud to boast project teams with women leaders at all levels. Can you tell us a bit about your experience on the team?

Shahrzad: It’s such a collaborative team, which I’ve really appreciated. Due to the size of the project, there are many players at the table, and many teams that are women led, such as the local architecture firm and the electrical engineering firm. Everyone on the project team is working hard and invested in the outcome. It’s been a great experience.

Amy: Speaking to that, the collaboration is so crucial because most of the team is remote. We have local partners on the project in Prince Albert, but our team at Entuitive is collaborating remotely from offices across Canada and many of the other consultants are also spread across the country. The helipad consultants, for example, are located in Europe and the United States. As a result, we are working with partners on this project with whom we normally wouldn’t work, which has been a pleasure.

Aeron: I’ve really enjoyed that aspect of it as well, working out the best ways to coordinate and collaborate. I’ve learned so much working on this project.

Brenna: I’ve also appreciated working on a project where the contractor, in this case PCL, is part of the project from the very beginning. This allows us to understand a more holistic picture of the construction of the building and how that informs our work at Entuitive earlier in the process.

Amy: It’s been an intense year because of the fast-tracked nature of the project, but the team has made it so positive and productive. With the right team, anything is possible. We’re all working so hard to achieve the best outcome for this hospital.

Shahrzad: Working on healthcare projects is so rewarding, because we know we’re helping a community gain better access to the care they need.

Amy: I had the chance to walk through the existing hospital, and the staff are really looking forward to this expansion. This is going to make a huge difference to the entire northern region of Saskatchewan, and their access to health care.

Thank you so much, Amy, Shahrzad, Aeron, and Brenna for talking to us about this important project!

To learn more, reach out to Amy or Shahrzad.


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