West Block Rehabilitation Project Topping Off

September 25, 2016
Project News Walters Inc.

The topping-off ceremony for the West Block Rehabilitation project was held on September 23rd, 2016 when we hoisted the last major assembly in the attic. This courtyard will serve as the temporary House of Commons, beginning next September, for ten years while the House of Commons is renovated.

As a Canadian company, it has truly been an honour to work on Parliament Hill as a part of the project team. Our role in the rehabilitation project included supplying, fabricating, painting and installing steel “trees” and “branches” and the cloud roof structure.

The geometry of the project was quite unique, in that the cloud structure is completely independent of the existing structure and fully supported by the trees and branches. Realizing the architect’s intent towards a gothic revival architectural style to be consistent with the original building allowed us to continue the connection design and detailing to incorporate the constructability needs without compromising the style.

The cloud structure consisted of a complex array of vertical bracing and beams supported from the branch tips creating a type of three-dimensional space framing, where the load paths are not apparent. This is far different and more complex than the typical simply supported truss system seen in most buildings.

The construction planning on this project was a detailed nearly piece-by-piece plan. Each stage required engineering review and supply of custom temporary supports or bracing if necessary, to ensure continuous stability of the structure. This attention to planning allowed us to construct this project in a timely, efficient and safe manner.

This hasn’t been an easy project, but the willingness of everyone involved to come together as a team to find solutions for problems has been one of the main reasons for the successes on this project.

We would like to acknowledge the Ironworkers Local 765 for they talent they brought to this project to construct this project safely and efficiently.

Learn more about the West Block Rehabilitation Project >>

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