Construction Brief

March 2022

Data Centre under construction

West Park’s new Data Centre will accommodate the latest in new technologies that will be introduced in the building. It will be one of the first spaces to become operational. 

Construction Highlights

Data Centre
There is a lot of attention focused on the completion of the Data Centre in the new building. According to Cisco, a data center is a physical facility that organizations use to store their critical applications (software) and electronic information. The key components of a data center include routers, switches, firewalls, storage systems and servers. 

All the cables behind the walls consolidate and converge into the Data Centre, where all the computer systems West Park currently uses and will be using in the future are stored. Systems range from clinical software like the electronic patient record to operational systems that control and automate the building’s security, heating and ventilation.

The Data Centre will be one of the first spaces to be operational. First, its infrastructure requires careful setup so that its power, cooling, networking and environmental sensors become stable. Second, data migration will require a huge amount of time. Not a simple copy and paste job, data migration is an incredibly complex process that requires careful planning, documentation and testing to ensure there are no glitches.

“All this data and services migration have to be done while simultaneously making sure the new data center is supporting our staff and patients who are still operating from the old buildings through a special fiber cable connecting the new and old data centers together,” says Ahmad Ramahi, West Park’s Project Manager for Information, Communication, Automation and Technology (ICAT) in Campus Development. “We have to make sure everything is running reliably before the first patient and staff can move into the new building.”

West Park has teamed up with one of the top data centre companies in Canada to ensure minimal disruption to business during the migration period.

The Data Centre will have a “raised floor” system. Four large Computer Room Air Conditioners (CRAC) will blow cold air directly under the raised floor, where cold air then escapes through perforated tiled floors that are strategically located in front of the server cabinets to keep the servers from overheating. This eliminates the need to cool the entire room, which helps our environment by saving energy. 

Some “cool” facts about each air conditioner unit:

  • Weighs 1 tonne (1,000 kgs) 

  • Moves 15,500 cubic feet of air per minute (CFM). For comparison, a typical bathroom fan moves 50 CFM of air. 

  • Cools up to 300,000 BTU (British Thermal Unit) of generated heat per hour. For comparison, a home fireplace produces an average of 60,000 BTUs per hour 

Unit with complete boarding

The first unit with walls throughout!

The entire Geriatric Rehabilitation unit has been fully boarded (walls)! The service is located on the second floor in the North Inpatient Block, which faces the Ruddy and Long-Term Care buildings.

Did you know the new units will be about four times larger than current units? The significant increase can be attributed to the shift from a majority of four-bed wards in the current building, to 80 per cent single and 20 per cent double inpatient rooms in the new building. 

In addition, there will be some new spaces featured on each unit: 

Dining Room
An important aspect to the overall patient experience, the Dining Room will enable patients to gather and socialize during meal times. With the shift to predominantly single rooms, opportunities for patients to interact with others will be reduced. Encouraging patients to leave their bedside for meal times will promote movement and socialization, and therefore active rehabilitation and better mental health.   

Though communal dining is encouraged, patients will also have the option to take their meals in their rooms. The Dining Room will also be a flexible space that could be used for other recreational activities during off-hours. 

Airborne Isolation Room
There will be one Airborne Isolation Room (AIR) per unit, which are negative air pressure rooms that prevent cross-contamination and airborne infections. This will certainly help West Park respond to future pandemics! 

Enhanced Access Room
There will be one Enhanced Access Room per unit that can accommodate bariatric patients. The room will be slightly larger and furnished with bariatric furniture and equipment.

Quiet Room
Each unit will continue to have a Patient Lounge in the new build. In addition to a Patient Lounge, there will also be a Quiet Room on each unit for patients looking for solitude and a quiet retreat. 

Staff Workspaces
Most clinical staff can attest they are crammed like sardines at the current nursing stations when it comes to meetings and documentation work. In the new building, there will be plenty of space for both. 

Next to the Communication Centre (reception desk) at the unit entrance, there will be a Team Room that can accommodate several touchdown workstations for staff to work independently and/or for small group collaboration. Adjacent to the Team Room will be a Report Room that will accommodate departmental meetings. A workroom for dictation and other work requiring a quieter space can also be found on the unit. 

With the larger unit footprint, it is important to ensure that staff can deliver care closer to patients. Subsequently, there will be two Substations per unit, each located at the end of the “L-shaped” department (also known as “pods”). The Substations will be equipped with computer terminals with access to the electronic patient record (EPR), nurse call and other systems.

Staff Lounge
Currently, there are limited areas for staff to take breaks and eat their meals. In the future, there will be a dedicated staff lounge on each unit equipped with a microwave, tables and chairs, small lockers for personal belongings and a washroom. 

See this month’s construction photo gallery here

Did you notice the white dots on the windows?

Registered nurse Tessa Shelvey is delighted there are visual markers in the form of white dots on the windows in the new building, as they help to prevent birds from colliding into windows. 

Known for being a leader in green health care, West Park’s new hospital provides an opportunity to incorporate the latest in building codes and standards, which further strengthens its sustainability efforts. 

This includes implementing recommendations from the Bird-Friendly Development Guidelines set-out by the City of Toronto’s Green Development Standard strategy. The guidelines have several requirements and recommendations including applying visual markers, such as white dots, to glass surfaces up to 12 metres above ground (third floor of the new building) to deter birds from crashing into windows.

Read the full story on bird-friendly windows here

A Look at the New West Park: Auditorium

Located on the second floor, the Auditorium will be the largest event space in the new hospital. 

Increasing its square footage by 50 per cent, the Auditorium will host and support a wide range of events and functions such as conferences, telemedicine sessions, town halls, multi-faith services, movie nights and gala dinners. In addition, the Auditorium will have supporting adjacent rooms for equipment storage, coats and food preparation. 

Read the full story with the virtual tour here