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Summarize the project's program, features and achievements.

This state-of-the-art facility was custom built for McKesson Canada ("McKesson"), the largest pharmaceutical distributor in the country, providing specialized prescription services and non-retail central fill pharmacy services to clinics and physicians, allowing them to better serve their patients throughout Western Canada. Founded in Montreal in 1905, McKesson is responsible for the essential distribution of one-third of all prescription medicine in the country, with deliveries being made to over 8000 hospitals and pharmacies daily. McKesson required a modern distribution facility located on Canada's west coast in order to better serve the region. Over the course of the development and construction phases, the global pandemic took hold and placed increased demand on the healthcare system, further driving the need for this facility. Establishing themselves as a landmark tenant in the highly sought-after Campbell Heights Industrial Park in Surrey, BC, McKesson's new facility created efficiencies by consolidating the distribution, warehousing, and office spaces from two existing facilities into a single building. This not only promoted a more collaborative and streamlined approach to business, but also allowed McKesson to establish a flagship location. Working in close collaboration with Taylor Kurtz Architecture + Design, Weiler Smith Bowers Consulting and McKesson, Beedie refined the building design to not only exceed the complex requirements of the client and Health Canada, but also create a modern design and aesthetic streetscape to anchor its location on a prominent corner of the industrial park. Composed of 201 insulated concrete tilt-up panels, the resulting facility totals 233,000 SF and contains three distinct areas across a single level: 202,682 SF of warehousing, 29,908 SF of office, and a 410 SF on-site retail space. The building also features steel plate canopies, 40' clear height, 23 dock loading doors, 6 van doors and 1 grade door, which ensures that pharmaceuticals can be loaded onto transport vehicles quickly and effectively to reach the patients that rely on them. McKesson's new facility was constructed with an accelerated timeline which utilized panel casting beds to facilitate completion of foundations and in-ground works simultaneously with the panel-building. Traditional panels were cast on slabs for 40% of the building, which were completed in parallel to the structural steel erection on the remaining 60% of the building. This approach resulted in construction completing within fourteen months, three months faster than traditional methods. The building structure and brace bays were specifically designed to accommodate the client-specified semi-automated Object Store and Retrieval system (OSR), which occupies the bulk of the warehouse. Additional requirements included full electrical back-up and redundancy on several key pieces of equipment serving the refrigeration, mechanical, and automation processes. This essential design feature ensures continuity of operation in the event of power loss and protects high-value, temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals that play key roles in the healthcare system. McKesson's new industry-leading facility addresses their space requirements while creating efficiencies across their operations through new infrastructure such as advanced conveyancing systems and automation processes, allowing them to better serve and distribute their products throughout Western Canada, now and into the future.

What obstacles were overcome related to the schedule, budget, program, specification, site, etc. on this project?

Beyond the particularly challenging timing of the transaction in March and April of 2020, the ongoing lockdowns and supply chain issues posed by COVID-19 have been prevalent in each stage of this project. Beedie has worked collaboratively with McKesson and our suppliers to successfully manage these risks and delivered the building on time and on budget. Adding to the urgency of this project was its role in the pharmaceutical logistics infrastructure within Canada. Beedie also implemented a strict and thorough health and safety program on-site to minimize the risk of illness to all workers throughout construction.

Communicate any engineering complexities or unique features of the panel design for this project.

Given the complexity of the automation systems being deployed within the facility, McKesson required a substantial fixturing period to complete their installation, commissioning, and Health Canada approval processes. As a result, careful planning was required to determine appropriately phased tenant access milestones to facilitate the installation of their racking and automation systems. Additionally, with many of the automation systems being sourced from overseas, detailed engineering analysis was required to ensure each of the components satisfied local seismic design requirements.

What is the potential for this project's impact on the community and/or environment?

McKesson's new facility has an enormous potential for impact on the community and healthcare system in Western Canada. As the largest pharmaceutical distributor in the country, the consolidated facility was built with insulated concrete panels and incorporates a state-of-the-art automated Object Store and Retrieval (OSR) system, which increases efficiencies while ensuring that pharmaceuticals are stored at the exact temperature and conditions required to maintain their efficacy. This system also ensures that all medications are efficiently loaded into vehicles for distribution, and the central location within Metro Vancouver allows delivery vehicles to reach their destinations quickly. Constructed during the height of the ongoing pandemic, all elements of McKesson's facility were carefully considered to ensure the maximum positive impact on the healthcare system in order to serve the community for many years to come.

Main banner image for McKesson

Project Location

Surrey, BC V3S 0L5


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Project Images


Project Team (TCA Members)

General Contractor:
Concrete Contractor:
Weiler Smith Bowers Structural Engineers
Nelson Mouëllic Studio

Project Specifics

Project Category:
Building Types:
Distribution Center
Paint (Textured)
Sandwich Panel (Non-Composite)
Number of Floors:
Number of Panels:
201 panels
Tilt-Up Wall Area:
107,516 sq ft (9,988 sq m)
Total Floor Area:
233,000 sq ft (21,646 sq m)
Project Footprint:
233,000 sq ft (21,646 sq m)
Tallest Panel:
47 ft 3 in (14.40 m)
Widest Panel:
19 ft 11 in (6.07 m)
Largest Panel:
943 sq ft (87.6 sq m)
Heaviest Panel:
141,908 lbs (64,368 kg)