Since the rehabilitation of the West Block began three years ago (see coverage in Issue 1, 2014), demolition and abatement have been substantially completed. The east side of the West Block has been restored. Masonry restoration and seismic upgrades continue on the building’s west side.
To date, the project has generated 753,000 work hours for Local 7 Canada members. Based on current projections, at least another 100,000 work hours will be accrued between now and the time the project is completed. According to Local 7 Business Manager Oliver Swan, the project will be completed on time and on budget.
Swan also says the project has provided steady work for a large number of Local 7 members at a time when construction employment has been uncertain for many. “It has been an opportunity for many of our members to learn the traditional skills of our trade as well as the most modern techniques used to restore historic buildings. It would be hard to overemphasize the importance of this project to members of our Local,” says Swan. “We look forward to continuing good relations with the Department of Public Works and Government Services and our signatory contractors on upcoming restoration projects on Parliament Hill.”
Local 8 bricklayer and cement mason Reginald Graves.
Says BAC Executive Vice President Tim Driscoll, “The magnitude and quality of the work on this project is exceptional. Equally impressive is the combination of cutting edge building technology (BIM) and traditional building methods used by the masons to restore this historically significant national landmark.”
About 142 bricklayers and stone masons of Local 7 employed by signatory contractor RJW-GEM Campbell Stonemasons Inc. (Ottawa, ON) are working on the building’s extensive exterior conservation. According to Robert Watt, President of RJW-Gem Campbell Stonemasons Inc., the exterior restoration will be completed by September 2015.
Meanwhile another 55 Local 7 members employed by signatory contractor Limen Group (Toronto and Ottawa/Kingston, ON and Maple Ridge, BC) are working on the interior restoration, which is scheduled for completion in 2017.
Note: Unlike the U.S., Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act does not require workers to wear gloves to reduce exposure to hexavent chromium.