Stryker Case Study

Photo of Stryker's building

Stryker, one of the world’s leading medical technology companies, together with their customers, is driven to making healthcare better. They offer innovative products and services in orthopaedics, medical and surgical, and neurotechnology and spine, that help improve patient and hospital outcomes*. Since 1945, Stryker has grown to employ 33,000 people globally, generating $12.5B in annual sales.  Stryker reinvests $767M in R&D annually, and has 6,560 global patents. 

Stryker is committed to building an inclusive, engaging work environment, with a goal to encourage, value and leverage differences in people and perspectives to maximize business outcomes. Diversity and inclusion are business imperatives of the organization that align with Stryker’s mission and values.

Up until the 2018 relocation to a new building, Stryker Canada Inc. had been operating from three locations in the Hamilton region.  By the year 2015, the company was bursting at the seams in all locations, due to strong growth and acquisitions.  With the anticipated growth in healthcare, a decision was made to expand its real estate footprint within the same vicinity, and create a new head office facility that would consolidate all its functional departments under one roof.  

Stryker’s employees were the main reason the Canadian business decided to consolidate into a newly built, $100M headquarters in Hamilton, Ontario.  A new facility would not only provide the much-needed expansion space, it would also allow the company to create a new state-of-the-art workplace environment.  The environment would be aligned with the needs of the employees and the culture, as well as with their business objectives.  However, the company was reluctant about a move that could potentially uproot the lives of their 225 employees.

Adjacent to one of their existing locations was the iConnect Industrial Park, which was an ideal location for a new 120,000-square-foot facility (office and warehouse).  This is a location “Where we could consolidate under one roof to manage distribution, logistics, finance, legal and compliance, regulatory affairs, marketing and human resources,” said Scott MacNair, president of Stryker Canada.  “With proximity to Pearson, Hamilton airport, the U.S. border and GTA highways, it’s a good central location for us.”

The decision was the right one for Stryker.

The plan of subdivision had not been approved when Stryker became interested in the greenfield site. Thankfully, the city planning staff worked tirelessly with Stryker and the developer, Krpan Management Group, to meet the company’s timelines.  They allowed the developer to pursue a plan of subdivision and site plan agreement at the same time, to speed up the process.

Krpan proposed a pre-engineered building that included both warehouse and office components.  However, the office interiors would have been bare-bones, on an industrial level.  Stryker’s real estate and project management partner, Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), realized the importance of the workplace. They brought in an independent design consultant, HOK Canada, to create a dynamic, culturally connected, interior office space. 

Shortly after HOK was retained, JLL also sought the expertise of a construction management firm, and MARANT Construction Limited was contracted for the project.  The immediate requirements were to develop a project schedule and budget estimate for approval.  The original budget proposed for the interior construction did not include the new design features, or engineering alterations, so it had to be revised to achieve Stryker’s and JLL’s expectations.  The new workplace now included features such as an internal stair, glass partitions, and new washrooms.  These additional elements required close coordination with the pre-engineered building specialist with regards to tolerances, as well as the design services of a structural engineer.  Numerous budgets were generated to align expectations and additional needs.

The start date for the interior construction work was delayed while the re-engineering took place, and further delays were experienced so the base building contractor could trench the slab floors for the new plumbing requirements and cut and reinforce the core slab openings.

The delay for the start of the interior construction was approximately two and a half months (from February 5, 2018 to April 23, 2018).  Although the team at Stryker was not initially pleased, they were aware of the positive impact that the changes would make for the employees.  Because they had no pending lease expiries, they were able to stretch the completion date. They put a stake in the sand for substantial completion by November 5, 2018.  MARANT was able to revise the schedule, adding minute details and, by implementing overtime and overlapping the trades working on site (requiring additional site coordination), was able to achieve the November 5th date.

There were some extenuating circumstances experienced along the way that made the accomplishment of this date a celebration of sheer determination.   The revisions to the interior space created interferences with the base building systems distribution, such as sprinkler lines and electrical conduits.  This required intense coordination between the base building general contractor and MARANT, to resolve the issues quickly. 

In addition to the reworking of base elements, the construction of the pre-engineered building envelope had been behind schedule throughout, due to unexpected situations. At turnover for tenant fit-up work,  the shell was still not fully enclosed or acclimatized.  Generators were brought in to provide heating and power.  With both the base contractor and MARANT working on site in the same locations, the Ministry of Labour required separation of work areas using hoarding, and MARANT had to continually schedule and re-schedule the tenant work at different times – often during off-hours.

Several unique situations helped create the delays noted above.  One was an issue raised by the First Nations relating to connecting services from the street (e.g., power and water).  The intended pathways ran through a ravine, which is on native grounds, that hosted a large turtle nesting area.  Crews had to wait a month for the eggs to hatch so they could be relocated to a safe place on another piece of land.  A further time complication was experienced during excavation for the services.  The ground, which was largely shale, had to be blasted before it could be excavated.

The resolution relating to the power and water lines from the street was reached by October 8, 2018.  Further trenching at the street was still needed to clean the pipes to satisfy the city water quality regulations.

Stryker’s new facility is a highly functional and attractive building inside and out.  The interior spaces were designed to meet the organization’s needs and provide a dynamic work environment that includes dramatic, bold graphics throughout, representing the company’s history, products and culture.  With high ceilings and loads of light entering the space, it is a bright, people-centric, energetic space.  The perfect space for their employees and the growing needs of this international medical equipment corporation.


*stryker website, 2018