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Accelerated and modular build projects: How some of Ontario’s most urgently needed projects are completed in less time

Five key factors in graphic

In 2020, the Accelerated Build Pilot Program was launched by the Ontario government to address capacity issues in the province’s health and long-term care (LTC) system. Infrastructure Ontario (IO) responded by collaborating with our partners to develop an innovative program that could deliver projects years sooner than a traditional development project. Through a combination of powerful partnerships, rapid procurement and in some cases, modular construction, the program has now delivered several projects in the long-term care sector. A similar rapid delivery approach has also been used for projects in other sectors, including corrections facilities. “Ongoing discussions with our industry partners mean that IO is continually innovating and adapting the way we deliver complex infrastructure projects,” said Dominik Knutel, Director of Government Services at Infrastructure Ontario. “The accelerated build projects are the perfect example of this kind of innovation.”

At a time when government, health care and construction firms were under tremendous pressure due to the pandemic, turning these expedited projects into reality took a nimble approach combined with innovative thinking towards a shared vision.

On these types of projects, government ministries and other public sector partners (like hospitals and LTC homes) work with Infrastructure Ontario to manage the day-to-day construction oversight, monitor commissioning, and provide timely status reporting on progress. “It’s a great way to deliver a complex project in less time,” said Dominik. “The timeframe achieved on these projects would not be possible without the relationships and trust that IO has built with our partners.

The accelerated build projects call for a broad team that taps into the breadth of experience across IO – from professionals in procurement, project delivery and program management to legal, strategic communications and more. We use a variety of tools such as asset optimization, rapid procurement, and accelerated construction methods to get the job done. For example, IO developed a modified Design-Build contract model, which allowed for maximum flexibility and efficiency. “Construction got underway while the constructor-led design teams continued to develop and finalize the design, said Dominik. “This approach alone took months off the project schedule

Five key factors in the accelerated toolbox

    1. Fast to market
      Drawing on IO’s extensive industry knowledge helps expedite market engagement process.
    2. Rapid procurement
      IO developed an innovative two-stage Request for Qualifications and Standing Offer (RFQSO) process, which can enable a competitive procurement up to four times faster than the traditional process.
    3. Centralized management
      Management of permitting and approvals, and working with authorities having jurisdiction to implement expedited delivery support.
    4. Due diligence
      Comprehensive due diligence program to confirm site feasibility, approve implementation strategies and quantify site constraints and conditions.
    5. Collaborative design
      Using a modified Design Build contract model means construction gets underway while the design continues to develop and finalize - taking months off the project schedule.

Accelerated build projects completed to date

IO’s first accelerated build projects were completed in 2022. The Lakeridge Gardens LTC home was completed in February 2022, after just 13 months of construction. In September 2022, the Thunder Bay Correctional Centre and Kenora Jail projects were completed.

In May 2023, the Humber Meadows LTC was completed and by July 2023, Wellbrook Place – comprised of two LTC homes – was completed.

Watch how it’s done!

Watch the short documentary from PCL Construction to learn more about the Lakeridge Gardens project and get a behind-the-scenes look at the overall innovation involved on these types of projects. Bird Construction also put together a short video that shows some great footage of the Kenora and Thunder Bay correctional facility modular build projects.

Aerial view of Kenora Jail

Kenora Jail – 1430 River Dr, Kenora, ON P9N 1K5

Exterior view of Humber Meadows Long-Term Care

Humber Meadows Long-Term Care Home – 2109 Finch Ave W, North York, ON M3N 1N1