Feds readying $175M rehabilitation of Terrasses de la Chaudière in Gatineau

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Public Works is looking to hire an architectural firm to help it draft plans for a major overhaul of the country’s single-largest federal office complex so that it no longer poses a health and safety risk to its occupants or nearby pedestrians.

Last week, the department published a request for proposals seeking a prime consultant to design and implement a rehabilitation project for Terrasses de la Chaudière.

The downtown Gatineau complex accommodates some 6,000 civil servants and contains 1.53 million square feet of rentable space, the federal government says. To put the figure into context, that’s more than four times the size of the Performance Court office tower on Elgin Street, across from the courthouse.

Designed by Arcop Associates and subsequently built in 1978 by Campeau Corp., Terrasses de la Chaudière is considered a health and safety risk due to the current state of the deteriorating building exterior.

Workers have been inspecting and repairing bricks for more than a decade, and installed an overhead protection system to keep pedestrians safe.

However, this is only a short-term solution. The federal government says a rehabilitation of the full building envelope system – including windows, curtain wall, pre-cast panels, mechanical/electrical interface, roofing, penthouse cladding and interior finishes affected by the envelope work – is needed.

The total estimated construction cost, according to the procurement documents, is $175 million. The complex, which is home to the CRTC, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, Canadian Heritage and the Canadian Transportation Agency, will remain occupied throughout construction.

The successful company or team hired as the prime consultant will be responsible for preparing the design and construction tender documents, among other tasks.