Hot technology keeps new hospital grounds warm


Photo: The grounds of the new hospital are covered in this giant ‘blanket’ to keep temperatures above +1c all winter – submitted.

A groundbreaking ‘blanket’ is keeping the foundation of Fort St. John’s new hospital snuggly-warm during the chilly winter months.

That’s because an innovative piece of technology is protecting the base of the building and drainage systems from frost heaves.

The system is comprised of a series of temporary pipes laid on the ground in a looping pattern, and then covered with insulated tarps covering the total area of the new building’s ‘footprint.’

All of the pipes are connected to three gas-fired boilers and a series of pumps, that heat an environmentally friendly liquid called Glycol, which circulates throughout the system. This maintains the foundation at a temperature of +1 celcius.

There’s around 13 kilometres of pipe covering the base of the project. More pipes will be added in the event that the temperature drops substantially.

Officials can take the ground’s temperature by monitoring the temperatures of the piping returning to the boilers.

And while this type of system has been used in the province before, its use in Fort St. John is believed to be the system’s largest project.


Photo: This machine pumps out heat, which eventually circulates throughout the pipes underneath the foundation of the hospital – submitted.