Vancouver Coastal Health serves 25% of BC’s population, that’s over 1 million people including the residents of Vancouver, Richmond, the North Shore and Coast Garibaldi, Sea-to-Sky, Sunshine Coast, Powell River, Bella Bella and Bella Coola. As you can imagine, they have services and facilities spread throughout the region. One such facility is located at 590 West Eighth Avenue in Vancouver where health authority’s Information Management/Information Systems (IMIS) department is housed.

For Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), the size was right, and location ideal. Unfortunately, the scope of the work required to bring the 33,333 square foot building up to the requisite technical and environmental standards was just too daunting. It did not make sense for VCH to purchase the property.

For Wesgroup, however, the outdated, Class “C” building represented an exciting improvement challenge, and a solid opportunity to strengthen an existing relationship with the health authority. We also had the expertise, resources and permit approval experience required to get the job done fast – a key VCH criteria.


In May 2005, Wesgroup acquired the property and immediately began an extensive retrofit, gutting the interior, installing leading-edge HVAC, fire-protection and ceiling seismic restraint systems, and totally re-constructing the building envelope.

By October, the project was complete. VCH’s IMIS had taken tenancy, under long-term lease. Its constituents were receiving enhanced service. And Wesgroup’s design and construction management teams were enjoying a much-needed (and well deserved) break.