Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority
Gimli Community Health Centre

Address (Map): 117 Seventh Ave., Gimli , Manitoba ROC 1B0 Canada
Sector: Health Facilities
Delivery Type: Design-Bid-Build
MCW Office: Winnipeg
Status: Complete
Awards: Gimli Community Health Centre, Gimli MB
Sub Categories: Hospitals

Project Description

The Gimli Community Health Centre was the most energy efficient hospital in Manitoba when it opened in 2005. The hospital incorporates an open well form of geothermal heating and cooling. There are no chillers and heat pumps or condensing units with their high electrical consumption and environmentally hazardous refrigerants; in fact a 100 ton chiller, two chilled water and two condenser water pumps were replaced by a single 15Hp well pump. The resultant natural gas consumption decrease by pre-heating outside air with the geothermally cooled glycol loop results in a direct Greenhouse gas reduction of 140,000 tons. Close liaison between the Architectural, Electrical and Mechanical Consultants resulted in low “E” windows, enhanced wall and roof insulation, high efficiency lighting, high efficiency motors throughout, variable speed drives on larger motors, high efficiency condensing boilers, glycol “run-around” heat recovery, geothermal cooling and geothermal air pre-heating.

Mechanical Systems Description:

All the cooling and about 25% of the heating in the Gimli Community Health Centre is achieved by ground water. There are no chillers, heat pumps or condensing units with their inherent high electrical consumption and environmentally hazardous refrigerants.

Electrical Systems Description:

The electrical design which included lighting, nurse call, data, communication and security needed to be customized for each specific health care function. As well a utility upgrade and emergency power system and essential power system designs were required.  The lighting was in response to the very specific psycho-social requirements as well as the utilitarian function. Great effort was expended to create a healthy environment that was conducive to healing the mind as well as the body.

Energy Efficient Design:

When the contract documents for the traditional mechanical and electrical design of this project were nearly complete it became apparent that the health authority had a very strong interest in more energy efficiency than traditional hospital design budgets allowed. The provincial funding authority had a fixed budget and was skeptical that an energy efficient design could be achieved without significant additional cost. MCW believed so strongly that this was not the case, that our firm undertook a second parallel, energy efficient design, at our own expense. Both the efficient design and the design for the traditional approach were completed for detailed analysis by third party professional quantity surveyors.  Budgets were prepared on both designs and it was determined that the energy efficient design did not increase the price, it actually cost slightly less. The health authority approved the energy efficient design and construction moved forward.


Recipient of Canadian Consulting Engineer Award of Excellence in 2007.

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