How Island Health successfully navigated The Summit
“We know that a big part of wellness is that sense of feeling connected to others. The Summit will provide a true sense of community for everyone who lives and works here,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix at the 2020 opening of The Summit, Island Health's brand new long term care facility in Victoria.
Light years ahead of the smaller and older Oak Bay Lodge and Mt. Tolmie Hospital facilities it replaces, The Summit has 320 beds and features a wide range of amenities.
There’s a dialysis room to eliminate hospital trips and lots of outdoor spaces including patios on every floor, a secure central courtyard on the main floor, and a walking path around the property. Designed to feel as welcoming as possible, The Summit’s double X floor plan is bright and airy with plenty of access to views and natural light to boost residents’ general wellbeing.
In addition to ensuring the wellbeing of hundreds of B.C. seniors, The Summit also aims to do the same for the environment with a highly efficient design. “Island Health is committed to an energy management program that aims to reduce operating costs and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions,” says Joe Ciarniello, Island Health’s Energy Department Manager.
A unique funding model
“What made this project unique for Island Health is the way it was funded,” continues Joe. “Capital Regional Hospital District (CRHD) owns the building and paid for construction, while Island Health operates it and pays for the utility costs. So during planning, there was plenty of negotiating to reconcile different goals and business requirements.”
Jeff Whitson is BC Hydro’s Key Account Manager for the healthcare sector. He advises on projects for all B.C. Health Authorities, including Island Health: “We always start with the energy modelling, funded by BC Hydro. This generates plenty of ideas and recommendations that help everyone to see what’s possible. Island Health is very committed to efficiency and reducing GHGs, so they found ways to build in as many of those features as they could.”
“We look at how many of the energy modelling recommendations are eligible for our incentive programs. This helps to cover extra expenses which are often over and above project cost,” says Jeff. “When a customer goes to make a case for the features, the incentive helps with leverage - and often tips the scales in their favour.”
As a result, The Summit’s 68,000 sq ft long-term care home boasts a high performance envelope and additional energy efficient features such as thermally efficient windows that make more window space and daylight possible, and also enable residents to sit next to them in the winter without feeling cold. Other features include:
- 40% more efficient LED lighting with occupancy controls
- Low flow plumbing fixtures
- Variable speed pumps for distributing heating and cooling water
- More efficient electrostatic filtration for incoming air
- High performance exhaust air heat recovery system
- 100% outside air variable volume ventilation system with zone reheat coils, supplemental perimeter electric radiant heating panels and a low-pressure ducts design resulting in significant fan energy savings
Building strong relationships
“This was a more complex project than most,” says Jeff Whitson. “But by building strong relationships with both the Energy Manager and the Project Manager, our BC Hydro team was able to help all the stakeholders arrive at a very successful solution that everybody is very happy with - and with all the incentives paid.”
Joe Ciarniello agrees: “We have a great relationship with BC Hydro. They always go above and beyond to help us out. And having all of their teams’ technical knowledge available is invaluable to us.”
Navigating their way to completing The Summit has increased Island Health’s wider efficiency experience, which will come in very handy as they work on their next major new construction project.