Surrey Memorial Hospital Emergency Department + Critical Care Tower


Surrey, BC


39,000 square metres



Structural Engineer

Bush, Bohlman & Partners

Project Materials

Glue-laminated timber (Glulam)




Structural Systems

Hybrid / Other


Post + beam


Visitors to Surrey Memorial Hospital are greeted by tree-like wood columns, each consisting of four thick glue-laminated timber (glulam) “branches” that extend from floor to ceiling and support a panelized atrium roof.

  • The hospital lobby features exposed structural timbers, paneling, and millwork, creating the impression the ceiling is being held up by trees.
  • Research shows the visual presence of wood is both psychologically and physiologically beneficial.
  • The roof consists of prefabricated panels designed to achieve long spans with minimum connections.

The Surrey hospital addition includes an emergency department with separate spaces for adult and pediatric care, along with a tower that hosts the Neonatal Centre of Excellence and much-needed patient rooms and beds for critical and intensive-care units.

Wood products and finishes used for the millwork, interior walls, and acoustic panelling help to control airborne contaminants. They are easy to maintain and are low-emitting materials, meaning they reduce concentrations of chemicals and improve indoor air quality.

Calming influence of wood in a healing environment

The bold, striking use of wood throughout the space—uncommon in such health-care settings—softens the hospital’s institutional feel and creates a calm, stress-reducing connection to nature. Wood is durable and stands up to weather, wear and tear, and rigorous maintenance.

Research on biophilic benefits of wood continues to grow, and one of BC’s busiest hospitals leads the way in offering patients a comforting, supportive, and healing environment.

Exterior view of Surrey Memorial Hospital Critical Care Tower showing biophilic glulam arches that extend floor to ceiling, bringing warm stress-reducing tones to critical care patients.
Wood in Healthcare

Learn More
Douglas-fir glulam struts support the glulam and heavy timber canopy in the exterior view of the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital Emergency Department
Nanaimo Regional General Hospital Emergency Department

Learn More
Interior atrium view of three storey University Hospital of Northern BC featuring structural Glue-laminated timber (Glulam) and parallel strand lumber (PSL) in addition to decorative wood siding and paneling
University Hospital of Northern British Columbia

Learn More
Sechelt Hospital, a 3 story L shaped structure at dusk
Sechelt Hospital

Learn More