The Feelgood Wood Health Centre in Canada

When a friend and communication expert joined the UK timber industry campaign «Wood for Good» my focus about building houses and skyscrapers made from wood i.e. solid wood ranged to Switzerland. And I found the first 10 storey, 36 meters high, 55 millions CHF, wooden skycraper in Switzerland – the «Surstoffi 22». I am really impressed about the new possibilities to implement hardwood into the world of architecture.

And about healthcare, hospitals & wood? Lets have a look at the North Bay Regional Health Centre, Ontario, Canada. Opened in 2011, the health centre was created using natural accents such as wood, stone and plenty of natural lights for the mental health centre.
North Bay MAP
NorthBay Health Centre Airview

North Bay General Hospital

720,000+ square feet (80-acre site) with two levels in the west and (Regional Mental Health) and four levels in the east end (Acute Care) – including one penthouse level.
> More facts in the North Bay Regional Health Centre Patient Services Directory and in the Annual Report 2016-17

North-Bay-HealthCentre_Sign  NorthBay Health Centre_Lodge-Residence

And in combination with the australien Plenary Group (Architects: EBHW Evans Bertrand Hill Wheeler):
– 275 acute care beds, 113 specialized and forensic mental health beds
Remark: increased percentage of single rooms, spacious double rooms (each patient with a window view) – rooms large enough to accomodate overnight stays with family/loved ones
– emergency with 32 treatment bays, 57’000 patients per year capacity, ambulatory care centre for 63’000 patients per year capacity
– some 150 physicians, total staff of 2’100 and some 300 volunteers
– unique at mental health centre: the Horticultural Centre – staff and patients will work together to grow plants and flowers
– special «Mammothon», May 2016: 98 women in one day at the Ontario Breast Screening Program (OBSP)
– designed to achieve LEED® certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)
– local impact during construction; about 525 workers (peak time), 26 local trades involved, $80+ million spent locally, an estimated $150 million in salaries and wages
Entrance_NorthBay Health Centre OntarioThe wooden parts in the mental health facility are very inspiring.
NorthBay HealthCentre Ontario PlenaryGroup inside
NorthBay Health Centre Lobby
NBGH building

Healing by Design. For sure an issue which is getting more and more acceptance, studies, wirksamkeit.
> Hospital gardens help patients heal (Scientific American, Deborah Franklin)
> Better healing from better hospital design (Harvard Business Revue, Yuhgo Yamaguchi)

Now back to the Feelgood Wood here in North Bay.
What if there would be a hospital in the future almost completely made from hardwood/wood? What if another study about healing process, shorter stays, sustainability impact, truly empowered patients and motivated staff would show breathtaking results? Making also the payers in the healthcare system happy? Go Ontario, go, looking forward to hear more from you.

Deeply impressed, Maurice Codourey

PS. Dear NBRHC – first movers sometimes don’t have an easy way to success and recognition.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s