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Surgical Unit Revamp at St. Paul’s Hospital, Saskatoon

Provided engineering services to revamp the fourth floor of the 1961 Wing as an acute care patient unit.


Client: Saskatoon Health Region

Our client’s challenge

The challenge in providing structural, mechanical and electrical engineering services to revamp the fourth floor of the 1961 Wing back to its original purpose as an acute care patient unit was in designing mechanical and electrical systems, including enhanced ventilation for infection control, in an existing building with limited ceiling space. The project involved complete demolition and renovation of the fourth floor space, while respecting existing mechanical and medical services passing through the floor space from the floors above and below. 

Our approach

Engineers came up with a unique solution to tie the fourth floor of the 1961 Wing to the third floor mechanical room in the 1987 Wing, using a duct chase structure that was suspended from the exterior wall between the two wings. This permitted new ventilation equipment to be located in the 1987 Wing, without losing valuable headroom and floor space on the floor of the surgery unit. The team designed 18 modern-sized patient rooms with patient lifts and individual washrooms. Through a teaming approach, the owner, contractor, designers, and hospital staff met a 14-month schedule for a project that would have normally taken at least 24 months using conventional processes.


The $4.27 million project was successfully completed and has been receiving patients since August 2012. The unit has contributed to the Health Region’s goal of reducing surgical wait times. The responses of patients and staff have been most positive. The project received the Brian Eckel Award of Merit from the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies – Saskatchewan.

Duct chase fastened to existing building structure.

New electrical distribution centre installed while existing electrical distribution centre remained open.