New Cambridge Memorial Hospital already ‘built’ thanks to local high tech company

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Cambridge, Ontario – Before a shovel is even put into the ground, the new Cambridge Memorial Hospital (CMH) already stands and can be walked through - thanks to the power of digital technology. Technology can do things like never before and when it comes to designing a new building, architects, like Stantec Architecture, are turning to virtual reality technology to bring their designs to life. RealityCave Inc., a Kitchener based company, has taken the CMH working drawings and ‘built’ it to specifications before construction is due to begin.

Although virtual reality has been used in health care design for rooms and corridors, this is believed to be the first hospital project in North America to be completely rendered using virtual reality. “We were thrilled to have an opportunity to provide our designs for this project. This is a powerful demonstration of what a local company can offer health care centres considering new builds, says Patrick Gaskin, President and CEO of Cambridge Memorial Hospital.

RealityCave Inc design studio brings ideas and designs to life, and is even able to show specific details like proposed furniture placement to exterior brick work. Using 3-D glasses, high quality projectors, and infrared sensors, those immersed in the medium can navigate around the building. The model and all the accessories are to scale, allowing architects to review ideas and solve potential design problems. “It lets designers and the client experience design in a way that was previously not possible. You are able to understand and experience the building in real time and space,” says Diego Morettin, Stantec Architecture.

The use of this technology can ultimately save taxpayer dollars in the long run. “The virtual environment allows you to identify potential issues before you build. Fixing design problems once construction has started are costly. With this system, you can walk through designs and see quite quickly, what will work” explained Jeff Botham, Vice President of RealityCave Inc.

Although CMH’s design was designed and validated using traditional methods, the 3-D modeling will give current and prospective donors the ability to visualize and conceptualize what will be a completely transformed hospital. This is the largest fundraising campaign in the history of Cambridge and this technology is giving donors a chance to see the new space years before completion. “The process is very exciting,” said Jennifer White, Executive Director of the CMH Foundation, “our donors will be able to experience the new hospital’s environment as it is intended for our patients. This is the biggest health care investment ever for our community and we want to make certain it is a complete success.”

About RealityCave Inc.
RealityCave™ is a 3D immersive design studio, which allows users to experience their design in our walk-in theatre. In a walk-in theatre located at the Communitech Hub at the Tannery in Kitcheners Innovation District, our team has commercialized a concept for virtual reality systems that make it affordable, and easy to use. Current clients include cities, universities, hospitals, architects, major retailers, designers, game designers and researchers.

About Stantec Architecture
We design places that are at the heart of a community’s health—vital healing spaces that are safe, open, and honest. The principles of place-making, sustainability, and change adaptation are hallmarks of our approach. Our work in increasing efficiency, reducing costs, and facilitating connections among staff, patients, and families gives the discovery, caregiving, and healing process renewed energy, life, and direction. Made up of 2,500 building professionals in 200 locations, our healthcare design staff live and work locally, but access colleagues who are working around the globe for fresh and informed input. Our teams are supported by our company-wide proprietary health research, experience in lean design, and expertise in alternative delivery systems. Through our healing spaces, we nurture the human spirit and inspire bonds with community.

About Cambridge Memorial Hospital Foundation
The Cambridge Memorial Hospital Foundation is passionately committed to raising friends and funds for the Cambridge Memorial Hospital in order to provide exceptional health care to Cambridge, North Dumfries and the Region of Waterloo. Cambridge Memorial Hospital is an acute care hospital providing multiple services including mental health, surgery, paediatrics, emergency care, cancer care, intensive care, diagnostics and rehabilitation. For more information, visit www.cmhfoundation.ca

For media inquiries contact:

Stephan Beckhoff, MA
Public Affairs and Communications
Cambridge Memorial Hospital
519-621-2333, ext. 2427
sbeckhoff@cmh.org