DCC recently met an unusual challenge for two Client-Partners, Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) Toronto and the Canadian Forces Environmental Medicine Establishment (CFEME).

Building 54 at DRDC Toronto in North York houses the only human-rated centrifuge in Canada, used to conduct sustained high-G training for aircrew. The centrifuge had to keep operating throughout a three-year, $15-million renovation of the 2,369-m2 building, originally constructed in 1943.

Gutting most of a large building while maintaining access to a key piece of equipment inside it was a challenge. “It’s a bit like replacing parts in your car while the vehicle is moving,” says Andrew Mah, Technical Specialist, Project Management, who served as liaison between DCC and the Client-Partners.

Project team members demolished roughly 80% of the building, leaving the centrifuge operation intact. They then built facilities for two CFEME sections: the School of Operational Medicine, which provides aerospace and undersea medical training to CAF and international health care providers and technicians; and the Military Medicine Section, which conducts initial medical assessments of aircrew, divers, and search-and-rescue technicians. The building houses sensitive medical equipment, which required specialized movers to move and re-install in the renovated space. In addition, DCC worked closely with Shared Services Canada to coordinate the installation of advanced IT systems.

With so many stakeholders, close communication and collaboration was key. “It was vital to accommodate the needs and requests of several user groups,” points out Michael Davis, DCC Technical Specialist, Project Management. “We set up several workshops at milestone points, to ensure the design met project requirements.”

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