Status report on transformational and major crown projects: 2017 to 2018 Departmental Plan

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Long Term Vision and Plan for the Parliamentary Precinct

Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) is the custodian of the buildings and grounds within the area surrounding Parliament Hill, known as the Parliamentary Precinct. Part of this important mandate is to maintain the historical and architectural integrity of these assets and ensure client service excellence.

In 2007, in collaboration with the parliamentary partners (the Senate, the House of Commons, the Library of Parliament), PSPC updated the Long Term Vision and Plan (LTVP). The updated LTVP provides a coordinated long-term approach to rehabilitating the heritage buildings in the Parliamentary Precinct (including the Parliament Buildings), meeting the accommodation requirements of parliament, and providing a secure and welcoming environment for parliamentarians, staff, visitors and tourists.

The LTVP sets out clear objectives and priorities, provides detailed guidance, and establishes a practical framework for implementation.

The Parliamentary Precinct Branch (PPB) works closely with its parliamentary partners including the Parliamentary Protective Service to identify parliamentary requirements and deliver a complex scope of work.

To ensure that work is coordinated and integrated, PPB has established the following programs for the delivery of projects:

The Major Capital Program focuses on the rehabilitation of major buildings in the Parliamentary Precinct, including the parliamentary triad (West Block, Centre Block and East Block), the 180 Wellington Building, and the Government Conference Centre. In addition, PSPC is constructing a new building, the Visitor Welcome Centre complex that will connect the parliamentary triad to support security and operational requirements.

The Recapitalization Program delivers work required to preserve the buildings, address health and safety issues and reduce overall expenditures while ensuring the ongoing operations of occupied buildings. Projects are permanent interventions to stop or reduce the continued deterioration, including urgent building repairs to ensure the ongoing viability of the buildings.

The Building Components and Connectivity Program delivers precinct-wide projects that provide the infrastructure and services to implement the connectivity requirements for the precinct. Components include building fixtures, furnishings and equipment. Connectivity includes interconnected systems for networking, security, multimedia and other electronic communications.

The Planning Program focuses on the development of master plans to guide project planning and preparatory work for future projects, including the development of plans and cost estimates. It provides overall coordination between active projects to ensure they dovetail and contribute to broader objectives of the LTVP vision and guiding principles.

Project outcomes

The LTVP is a complex multi-decade strategy to renew the Parliamentary Precinct by:

As the LTVP Program advances, broader benefits are also realized, including:

Through the work of the LTVP, the Parliamentary Precinct will continue to stand as a proud symbol of Canadian heritage and the centre of a parliamentary system equipped to handle the demands of a growing, dynamic nation in a rapidly changing world.

Long Term Vision and Plan review

The LTVP was last updated in 2006. Since then, many of the parameters on which the plan is based have evolved such as accommodation and security requirements, as well as government sustainability objectives. In 2017, the plan will be updated to address these new circumstances and requirements.

The LTVP update has two phases. The first phase is about establishing a long-term vision and developing consensus on new directions. The second phase will be the major work to ultimately develop an updated plan.

This update will be done in consultation with the parliamentary partners to ensure it continues to address their priorities and guide the government in making sound investments in the precinct. It will also affirm a strategy to consolidate parliamentary functions that have been relocated into Crown buildings adjacent to Parliament Hill.

Industrial benefits

The LTVP creates significant employment opportunities through contracts with small, medium and large companies across Canada, including set-aside criteria in procurement for indigenous people.

With the upcoming completion of major Crown projects such as the rehabilitation of the West Block and the Government Conference Centre, and the construction of the first phase of the Visitor Welcome Centre, the LTVP will have created approximately 25,000 jobs. The LTVP is expected to generate thousands more jobs over the next decade across a broad spectrum of the Canadian economy from engineering and architectural work to manufacturing and construction, while also continuing to support apprenticeship programs for trades such as stone masons, electricians, plumbers, carpenters and others.

Several multi-million dollar contracts will be awarded over a multi-year period for building construction, architectural and engineering services, project management services, cost time and risk management services, information technology systems, multimedia systems, furniture and other equipment. For example, major design and construction management contracts have been awarded for Centre Block.

In 2016 to 2017, PSPC adopted a broader campus approach to project delivery that focusses attention on assets located on the north side of Sparks Street, between Bank Street and Elgin Street. This approach will enable PSPC to accommodate the future challenges of the LTVP while ensuring that, collectively, these important heritage buildings continue to contribute to Canada's national identity for future generations.

For the next phase of the LTVP, the expected results for Canadians include:


Projects will continue to create opportunities for Canada's students to acquire new skills while contributing to building industry capacity. PSPC is partnering with Carleton University and the University of Calgary to leverage innovative practices such as 3-Ditgal imaging, digital robotic assisted fabrication and seismic reinforcement to achieve more efficient program delivery. Over the last five years, PSPC has leveraged the support of over 200 students.

Job creation and indigenous peoples

The implementation of projects approved through Budget 2016 is expected to generate employment opportunities for Indigenous peoples through set-aside criteria in the procurement of major work on Parliament Hill.

Environmental sustainability

LTVP projects help green government operations by reducing Parliament's environmental footprint. Targets built into projects include a 25% energy consumption reduction over and above the national energy code, and diversion of at least 80% of demolition materials from landfills. Energy efficient measures incorporated into buildings include:

Other measures include the installation of beehives on the roof of the Government Conference Centre and green walls within renovated buildings.

Universal accessibility

PSPC is working to ensure that all buildings are accessible and safely usable by persons with disabilities. A universal accessibility route will ensure unrestricted access on Parliament Hill for persons with physical disabilities during and after rehabilitation projects.


In recent years, additional layers of security have been implemented such as retractable bollards. In the coming years, additional measures will be implemented that balance security with the need to ensure access for Canadians to Parliament Hill. The Visitor Welcome Centre complex will provide secure screening of people and material outside the footprint of the main parliament buildings.

Sponsoring department

Public Works and Government Services Canada

Contracting authority

Public Works and Government Services Canada

Participating departments and agencies

Parliamentary partners

Prime contractor

Major subcontractors

Project phase

The LTVP encompasses numerous and varied individual major capital, recapitalization, building components and connectivity, and planning projects taking place simultaneously at different project phases at any one time. The major Crown projects are described below.

West Block rehabilitation

The West Block is the oldest building of the parliament triad on Parliament Hill. This four-story building was built in three phases, between 1859 and 1909. After rehabilitation, the West Block will provide an interim House of Commons Chamber in the courtyard, four committee rooms, as well as offices for the Prime Minister, House officials and officers, party leaders and party whips.

In 2017 to 2018, work will continue to fit-up the interior of the heritage building and new construction in the courtyard and north court. Fit-up of the interim House of Commons Chamber will begin as soon as the glass roof over the courtyard is complete in the spring of 2017, and the landscape will be complete at the same time.

PSPC and the House of Commons will be preparing for building occupancy and use for the opening session of parliament in the fall of 2018.

Visitor Welcome Centre (Phase 1)

The Visitor Welcome Centre (Phase 1) will be a newly constructed, multi-level, underground facility which will support the West Block's security and operational requirements, including security screening and scanning, and visitor services. It will provide a new public entrance to the West Block. The building connects the West Block to the Centre Block underground services facility on the service levels, providing a route for material management and utility connections.

In 2017 to 2018, the mechanical and electrical systems, interior finishes and furniture will be installed. The spaces used by the public will have finishes of high quality and durability, including a staircase flanked by escalators to transport visitors between levels. The entrance plaza and reconstruction of the Vaux Wall to contain the entrance/exit will also be completed in 2017.

PSPC and the House of Commons will be preparing for the first visitors and for the opening session of parliament in the fall of 2018.

Government Conference Centre rehabilitation

The Government Conference Centre (GCC) occupies a prominent location in downtown Ottawa at 2 Rideau Street, a short distance from Parliament Hill. Senate functions historically located in the Centre Block will be relocated to the GCC, to accommodate the Senate Chamber, three committee rooms, Parliamentary Office units' leadership and legislative functions for the duration of the Centre Block rehabilitation. PSPC is carrying out significant interior renovations, including the full replacement of key building systems. In addition to meeting the interim accommodation needs of the Senate, the rehabilitation of this building is expected to help meet the long-term business needs of PSPC after the Senate returns to the Centre Block.

Over the fiscal year, the building will undergo a variety of important activities including the installation of buildings systems, interior fit-up and finishes, construction of the eastern addition, along with installation of furniture and multimedia equipment. By March 31, 2018, as the construction of the GCC nears completion, PSPC and the Senate of Canada will be preparing for building occupancy and use for the opening session of parliament in the fall of 2018.

East Block 1867 wing envelope recapitalization

The East Block on Parliament Hill was built in two major campaign periods. The first portion was completed in 1865, which included the main West and South wings (referred to as the 1867 Wing). Subsequently, in 1910, a second wing was added to the east to enclose the courtyard.

As part of the LTVP, PSPC is approaching the rehabilitation of East Block in two distinct phases. The first phase will focus on the recapitalization of four areas of greatest concern within the exterior envelope of the 1867 wing. These areas include urgent repairs to the South West tower, the South East entrance (Agricultural entrance), the South entrance and the Governor General's entrance. Also, the department will implement an enhanced maintenance program to provide targeted maintenance activities and an ongoing screening and investigation program to identify issues to be addressed prior to its full rehabilitation.

As part of the second phase, the department is assessing options for the remaining exterior rehabilitation and for advancing the full interior rehabilitation of the East Block. The full rehabilitation will address the remaining exterior work not addressed in the first phase, including the 1910 wing, completing the seismic reinforcement program for the entire building, and replacing interior building systems with modern systems. The building will also be upgraded to meet the modern building standards and functional requirements to meet the accommodation needs of the Senate of Canada.

The construction of the south east entrance will begin in the fall of 2017. The remainder of the work is expected to begin in the spring and summer of 2018 with anticipated completion of the first phase of the envelope work by late 2020. This project is scheduled to be approximately 15% complete by March 31, 2018.

Centre Block rehabilitation

The Centre Block is at the heart of Canada's political and cultural landscape. As the institutional home of Canada's system of parliamentary democracy, it embodies the achievements and challenges of a bilingual, pluralistic society.

Centre Block has not received a major upgrade since it was rebuilt following a fire that destroyed it in 1916. Structural steel is rusting and at risk of losing its integrity. Major building systems, including life safety, are approaching failure. The 100 year-old embedded electrical and mechanical systems cannot be accessed or serviced in an occupied building and have been stretched beyond a useful lifecycle. Leaking roofs, walls, windows and plumbing are damaging historic interiors. Mechanical failures (for example elevators) are affecting parliamentary business and tourist operations. The building does not meet current seismic construction standards. It is located in an active earthquake zone and is exhibiting signs of seismic damage (that is cracking in masonry), particularly in the Peace Tower.

The rehabilitation of the Centre Block, in scale, complexity and timeframe is expected to be the largest heritage rehabilitation project of its kind in Canada. It is anticipated that the construction period for the Centre Block, Peace Tower and Visitor Welcome Centre will last approximately 10 years after construction starts in 2019. In advance of performing any substantive construction between 2017 to 2019, PSPC will start preliminary work:

The rehabilitation of Centre Block will be a legacy project on behalf of all Canadians, and will ensure that this symbol of the country is preserved for centuries to come.

Major milestones

Progress report and explanation of variances

PSPC has completed 21 major projects since the completion of the Library of Parliament, achieving substantial time and cost savings that have enabled the department to advance the completion date for West Block rehabilitation by three years (to 2017).

Recently completed Long Term Vision and Plan projects

Update to the Long Term Vision and Plan
LTVP project Target completion Final completion
Perimeter security project 2013 2013
East Block 1867 wing: Northwest towers 2013 2013
Sir John A. Macdonald building rehabilitation 2015 2015
Wellington building rehabilitation 2016 2016

Variances of the budget

West Block rehabilitation: The total project cost remains within the approved budget of $862.9 million [excluding Goods and Services Tax (GST)/Harmonized Sales Tax (HST)], and the project is expected to be completed within this amount.

Visitor Welcome Centre (Phase 1): The total project cost remains within the approved budget of $129.87 million (excluding HST), and the project is expected to be completed within this amount.

Government Conference Centre rehabilitation: The total project cost remains within the approved budget of $219.8 million (excluding HST), and the project is expected to be completed within this amount.

East Block 1867 wing envelope recapitalization: The total project cost remains within the approved budget of $80.6 million (excluding HST), and the project is expected to be completed within this amount.

Centre Block rehabilitation: Expenditure authority at an indicative cost estimate of $761.6 million (excluding HST) has been approved to execute enabling projects, detailed investigation programs to refine cost and scheduling and develop the decommissioning strategy to empty the Centre Block. It is anticipated that a substantial scope, cost estimate and schedule will be finalized in 2019.

Variances of the major milestones

There are currently no variances to the major milestones, with the positive exception of advancing the planned completion of the West Block project by three years from the planned completion date set as part of the 2007 revised LTVP. An active management approach has been instituted to avoid project delays, and lessons learned have been captured and are being applied to subsequent projects in the LTVP Program.

National Defence Headquarters Carling Campus Project

This project is to upgrade and refit the buildings at Carling Campus, enabling the Department of National Defence (DND) to consolidate a significant portion of its accommodations, currently located in the downtown core, to a single, suburban Crown-owned location by March 2019.

Project outcomes

This project will ensure that National Defence will have secure location from which they can continue to communicate sensitive information with other international allies, and a new work location that will drive business transformation by introducing the workplace renewal initiative and opportunities for co-location of staff currently in multiple locations. It will provide office space to accommodate a three phased migration of up to 8,500 DND team members who will consolidate to the campus from other National Capital Area leases with full migration expected to be completed by March 2019.

This consolidation project will result in important savings and cost avoidance for Canadians. The purchase of the campus represents overall savings and cost avoidance of approximately $750 million over the status quo.

Industrial benefits

The Canadian construction industry in the Ottawa region (including small and medium enterprises) will benefit from this project as the service provider (Brookfield Global Integrated Solutions), through the construction manager (EllisDon), will solicit bidders for the work to be done at the campus using transparent processes.

Sponsoring department

Public Works and Government Services Canada

Contracting authority

Participating departments

Prime contractor

Brookfield Global Integrated Solutions

Major subcontractors

Project phase

Major milestones

Phase I

Phase II

Phase III

Progress report and explanation of variances

The Carling Campus project remains on scope and on budget as well as on time in that the overall project schedule continues to call for the last move in to be completed by winter to spring 2019, and project close-out to be completed by March 31, 2020.

In the June 2015 TB submission, the project identified a nine-month delay in the expected phase I move in date. This extension postponed the first move of DND team members from December 2015 to January 2017. At this time, the phase I delay does not impact the overall budget, the other phases or the final project end date of 2019 to 2020. The delay for phase I fit-up is the cumulative effect of three distinct situations:

  1. Structural deficiency in phase I buildings: As a custodian, PSPC identifies and undertakes recapitalization projects related to the life cycle of its buildings. The 2010 pre-purchase condition reports identified that window-integrated glazing units should be replaced as they fail. The standard mode of failure for glazing units is related to the loss of seal integrity that results in moisture entering the double-glazed units. This failure mode results in loss of thermal efficiency and clouding of the glass. After the units were determined to be at risk of structural failure, the approach to replace units as their seals fail was deemed inappropriate; whole units had to be replaced to ensure structural integrity. However, a 2013 to 2014 study done by a third party architectural firm determined that the exterior curtain wall system (windows and aluminum frame) presented a serious structural deficiency. An investment analysis report identified three options: status quo to replace units as they fail; structural modifications of existing system to support units or full replacement of curtain wall system.
    In February 2015, PSPC concluded that the replacement of the curtain wall system is the best value and lowest cost solution. As well, the full replacement of the curtain wall system could be undertaken at the same time as seismic upgrades. The construction work for the repair of structural deficiency in phase I buildings is responsible for a two-month delay in the Carling Campus refit project. However, it would have been more costly and taken longer to complete the work after DND moved in due to security restrictions, disruption to DND operations and providing swing space for DND
  2. The process that Brookfield Global Integrated Solutions (BGIS), the service provider, followed for the requests for proposals and for selecting the main subcontractors for the project, a design consultant firm as well as a construction manager, took longer than anticipated due to the extension of the tendering process and a longer award process. This will not reoccur in the future as the two primary sub-consultants are now engaged, a fully integrated schedule for phase I is complete, performance of sub-consultants is monitored by BGIS and emerging issues are discussed at weekly meetings.
  3. A five-month delay in the preparation of the construction tender packages for the fit-up of phase I buildings 8 and 9 was the result of the selected design consultant's inability to staff quick enough to meet the project requirements. Performance of the consultant is being addressed by BGIS and the award of the phase II design contract is dependent on the consultant's demonstration of adequate resources to deliver this portion of the work.

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