Accessible and Sustainable: Bayers Lake Community Outpatient Centre

The three-story centre aims to improve healthcare accessibility and prioritizes sustainability with energy-efficient features and waste management practices.

Photo credit: Julian Parkinson

The Bayers Lake Community Outpatient Centre (BLCOC) by Parkin Architects in association with FBM Architects is located in Halifax and is a crucial component of the QEII Health Sciences Centre.

BLCOC aims to improve healthcare accessibility by providing essential services to residents outside of Halifax, decentralizing services from the Halifax Infirmary site.

The three-story centre, which was awarded the International Interior Design Awards 2023 GOLD, houses approximately 100 clinical spaces that offer appointment-based services such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, high blood pressure, diabetes and orthopedic assessment, examination rooms, 24 dialysis stations, diagnostic imaging, and blood collection, including post-surgery or post-treatment follow-up appointments.

The centre features two main “at-grade” patient entrances on the east side; one of which is for dialysis patients and another for all other clinics. There is also a separate entrance on the west side which is designated for staff.  Each entrance is designed with a wood-look canopy.

BLCOC was designed against the backdrop of Birch Cove Lakes Wilderness Area and offers picturesque views as well as a calming environment with lots of natural light.

Photo credit: Julian Parkinson

BLCOC prioritizes sustainability with energy-efficient features and waste management practices, and aims to set a standard for environmentally responsible healthcare. Scheduling systems and telehealth capabilities help to optimize patient-provider interactions and modular design principles allow for flexibility to meet future demands.

Exterior materials include a pressure-equalized rainscreen system with ceramic tile cladding, which resembles the tones of Nova Scotia granite. Warm wood finishes blend with the natural surroundings while curtain wall assemblies offer expansive views. Canopies also provide protection from the elements for pedestrians.

Permanent finishes such as flooring and millwork are designed for both comfort and longevity, and help to create a welcoming environment.

While COVID-19 lockdowns posed significant challenges, stakeholders remained engaged digitally by participating in video calls and interactive PDF sessions during the design and construction phases.

BLCOC’s impact aims to extend beyond healthcare by providing accessible services, promoting sustainability, and enhancing residents’ quality of life while fostering hope and healing.

The project recently won a 2024 Rethinking The Future Award and was selected as the runner-up in the healthcare and wellness category. This marks the third award for the facility with previous accolades including the Gold Award in the Urban Design & Architecture Design Awards 2024 and the Gold Award in the Healthcare Interior Built category at the International Interior Design Awards.

Photo credit: Julian Parkinson

Technical Sheet:

Client: Nova Scotia Health

Architect: Parkin Architects in association with FBM Architects

Site area: Unknown

Gross Floor area: 134,000 sq ft.

Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Project completion date: November 2023

Cost: $188.4 million USD


Mechanical engineer: HH Angus

Consulting: Dillon O’Neill Scriven

Mechanical engineering contractor: G J Cahill & Company (c/o Atlantica Contractors)

Mechanical/Electrical/Technology maintenance: Plan Group Inc.

Engineering consulting: Mulvey & Banani International

Engineering construction: Stephenson Engineering Ltd.

Engineering technology providers: Pinto Engineering Ltd.

Engineering and project implementation: Hatch Ltd.

Landscape Architects: Vertech Design

Underpinning: RDH

Vertical Transportation: Soberman Engineering

Accessibility Solutions: LMDG

Food Service design: Legge Foodservice Facilities Design Inc.

Environmental design: Theakston Environmental

Acoustics: Swallow Acoustics (part of Thornton Tomasetti)

Engineering solutions: Morrison Hershfield

Architectural products: Trillium Architectural Products Ltd.

Environmental navigation design: Cygnus Design Group

Security: 3sI Risk Strategies Inc.

Photo Credits: Julian Parkinson

Photo credit: Julian Parkinson
Photo credit: Julian Parkinson
Photo credit: Julian Parkinson
Photo credit: Julian Parkinson
Photo credit: Julian Parkinson
Photo credit: Julian Parkinson