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CHUM research centre

Montréal, Québec

2012 Armatura Award, awarded by the Quebec Reinforcing Steel Institute

Photo credits : Vincent Brière


Pomerleau/Verreault Consortium

Type of use

Hospital research centre

Number of floors

16 and 6

Year of construction


Work type

New buildings


55 000 m² and 16 500 m²


340 M$

Located above the Ville-Marie motorway in the heart of Montreal, the Centre de recherche du Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CRCHUM) consists of two buildings and is considered to be one of the most important research centres on the continent.

With its 16 stories, height of 75 m and area of 55,000 m², the Viger Tower accommodates the research centre that includes laboratories and equipment at the cutting edge of international medical research, including a cyclotron regulated by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC). The research centre is connected to the Champ-de-Mars subway station by an underground passage. The second building, used for administrative purposes, has 6 floors, is 27 m high and has a surface area of 16,500 m2.

The technical challenges included the design of a 3 m high concrete transfer beam reinforced with post-tensioned steel cables, located on level 8 and supporting 6 floors. This beam enabled the construction of a training room that spreads over 4 bays of 80 m² with spans of 18 metres without columns. On the other hand, also of note is the design of a concrete enclosure in the basement of the Research Centre, with walls and ceiling with a thickness of 2 metres, in order to house special equipment including the cyclotron mentioned above. The coordination with the various parties involved took place over 12 months and resulted in the structural engineers gaining unique experience in the installation of such equipment.

This project is cited as an example of collaboration with the aim of achieving sustainable design goals. In fact, though its completion was aimed at a LEED Silver certification, ultimately, thanks to the commitment of all participants, the project was awarded a LEED Gold accreditation in November 2014.

For this exceptional fast track project, NCK, in partnership with another firm, provided complete structural engineering consulting services.