Redeveloped Humber River Hospital will bring green jobs and state-of-the-art healthcare to western North York
TORONTO – From the first use of insulin on humans to the discovery of the T-Cell receptor and beyond, Greater Toronto medical institutions have long played a critical role in medical innovation.
For those familiar with that side of Toronto’s history, it will come as no surprise that the former city of North York – specifically, an unassuming stretch of Keele Street just off of Highway 401 – will soon be home to North America’s first fully-digital hospital.
Valued at $1.75 billion and providing a boosted capacity of 656 beds, the Humber River Hospital (HRH)’s redeveloped and consolidated campus is scheduled to open just over a year from now, in October of 2015. The new campus will replace an existing network of three separate campuses, with two scheduled to close permanently and the third (located on Finch Avenue) to be renewed as an ambulatory care clinic.
So, what makes the new campus a “digital” hospital? According to HRH, this special designation means that “every system in the hospital will be electronic and integrated together” – with higher levels of automation allowing more efficient services, shorter wait times, and even a smaller environmental footprint. Digital technologies to be deployed by the new hospital include:
- Self-service check-in kiosks, connected to fully electronic patient records.
- Bedside access to integrated hospital networks, allowing patients to make video calls, access educational materials, or even order food.
- Automated Guided Vehicles, lab analyzers, drug dispensing systems, and more.
In addition to embracing state-of-the-art medical technologies and networks, the new hospital campus was designed with the goal of achieving a Silver certification through the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system (for more information on LEED ratings, see our previous guide here). The facility will also meet the requirements for Tier 1 of the City of Toronto’s Green Standard.
In order to meet those goals, the new hospital’s planners have made dramatic investments in green technology and eco-friendly building features. Some of the highlights include:
- An expansive “green roof” covering 50 per cent of the facility’s rooftop.
- Ultra-efficient water fixtures – including low-flow toilets, faucets, and showers – with the aim of reducing indoor water use by 35 per cent.
- Enhanced lighting strategies and maximum daylight capture for interior spaces.
The HRH is also putting an emphasis on sustainable transportation, with bike lockers, public transit connections, and other green transportation features all incorporated into the new campus’s design. The HRH’s comprehensive traffic demand management strategy was developed in cooperation with Smart Commute Toronto, a division of Metrolinx committed to exploring and expanding alternative transit options in the GTA.
Through providing high-quality jobs, eco-friendly business practices, and convenient access to health care, state-of-the-art hospitals tend to have a strong positive impact on their surrounding neighbourhoods. With that in mind, the HRH’s new campus will be a welcome addition to this booming pocket of North York, and an exceptional complement to exciting real estate developments like Ion Condos.
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