Les Terrasses de la Chaudière town halls: Questions and answers
February 26, 2020
On this page
- Indoor air quality
- Water quality
- Legionella control
- Exterior envelope
- Occupational health and safety inspection of the complex
- GCworkplace: Interior modernization
- Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) infractions
Indoor air quality
Q1. What actions are you taking to address the concerns raised in regards to indoor air quality?
- As part as an environmental consultant contract with WSP, a certified industrial hygienist developed a tailor-made monitoring strategy to measure indoor air quality on floors where we received complaints
- Health Canada independently reviewed and validated the approach
- Based on the final sampling results, the certified industrial hygienist will provide a final report in March 2020
- The first phase of air quality sampling was carried out last fall. It specifically examined the impact of bats and mould in the complex, as well as infiltration of water
- The tests indicated that the air was safe and below the level of human health concern for a regular indoor environment
- We also hired a consultant to conduct methane levels testing in the complex. The results were below the level of human health concern
- As first round of test showed all elements to be within industry standards, we currently conducting enhanced air quality tests for various other chemicals that could cause symptoms reported by employees. The results are expected in mid-March 2020
- Finally, we are making investments in the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system to improve the flow of clean air in the building
Q2. How did you decide which floors needed to be tested for air quality and why didn’t you test all floors?
- Accommodation representatives and Occupation Health Safety (OHS) committee members from ISC/CIRNAC, PCH and WAGE were consulted on the selection of floors to be tested
- They were also included in the overall methodology of the study
- The results of the investigation was shared with them
Q3. What were the results of the first air samples investigation taken in the fall?
- All carbon dioxide (CO2) levels met industry standard. However, some select locations recorded concentrations above the Health Canada Guideline level which is more stringent than the accepted industry standards
- Temperature and relative humidity were also within industry standard, while some locations indicated levels slightly above PSPC’s recommended range which is more stringent than the accepted norms of industry
- All other measured elements - such as carbon monoxide, particulate matter, total volatile organic compounds, formaldehyde and bioaerosol testing – met industry standards and are considered acceptable
Q4. What are you measuring in the enhanced air quality tests quality investigation?
- The second phase sampling strategy began in November 2019 and is still ongoing
- It consists of a thorough visual inspection of the HVAC system on target floors, followed by inspections behind dry walls to detect the presence or absence of mould
- It also include a baseline indoor air quality testing targeting areas of concerns identified via occupant surveys
Q5. Was any presence of mould detected during the ongoing investigation?
- The 5th floor of 15 Eddy was added to the scope of the study in early October. Two locations revealed higher than normal mould levels
- The samples were both collected near a window which appeared to have leaked
- The drywall was remediated and the source of the leak was addressed by October 26, 2019
- Two additional locations were identified by WSP through visual inspection in December 2019. It was all remediated by January 18, 2020
- More intrusive investigations are being conducted in February 2020
Q7. What are you doing to address the concerns raised in regards to elevated lead levels in water sources?
- We have a rigorous water testing program at LTDLC and the water is safe
- In 2019-2020, 249 samples were collected throughout the complex and analysed bacteria, metal and lead
- 97% of consumption points met Health Canada guidelines. The consumption points that demonstrated a lead level exceeding the Health Canada guidelines were immediately closed
- We are making the necessary changes to the plumbing system to ensure that any available water meet Health Canada standards
- We will continue to monitor to ensure it remains safe for employees. If any test results show unacceptable levels, we will immediately close the consumption point, post signage and provide alternative sources of water
- This year, PSPC will install water refill stations with filtration capabilities throughout the complex
Q8. How did you choose the water sample points?
- Water samples were collected from all 249 drinking points throughout the complex
- Water samples were also collected at the point of entry, as well as the location furthest from the point of entry
Q9. Where were the locations closed due to unacceptable lead levels?
- 97% (241 of 249 locations) of the points of consumption met the new Health Canada guidelines when sampled
- There were the 8 locations that were closed:
- 1 promenade du Portage - 02 - plants room
- 15 Eddy, 14th floor kitchenette
- 15 Eddy, 8th floor kitchenette
- 15 Eddy, 2nd floor kitchenette
- 15 Eddy, 1st floor Physiolinea
- 25 Eddy, 15th floor kitchenette
- 10 Wellington, 21st floor kitchenette
- 10 Wellington, 1st floor Daycare sink C
- 7 of the 8 points of consumption (POC) which exceeded the guideline now meet it and were reinstated
- 1 POC is in an area under construction therefore the POC has been put out of service and will be tested once construction is completed
Q10. Was any Legionella bacteria found at LTDLC?
- The presence of Legionella bacteria in cooling tower systems at low levels is not unusual
- Low levels are generally present in water supply and only pose a significant risk if the bacteria amplifies in the 20-50 °C temperature range, and in presence of biofilms
- PSPC has strong processes in place to prevent the presence of Legionella and shares test results with departments and agencies in the complex
- Building occupants are not exposed to cooling towers located on the roof and way from all air intakes
- Building water systems are independent from the cooling tower system
Q11. How do you control legionella levels in the cooling tower?
- The current Legionella Action Plan for LTDLC includes weekly testing
- LTDLC installed an automatic system in September 2019 that takes samples every 2 days and the results are emailed automatically
- It is a pilot project under the Build in Canada Innovation Program
- Disinfection and cleaning is done in a proactive way every time a test shows an orange level, as defined by our the PSPC Legionella Standard is detected
- As a preventative measure, no more than three months is allowed to pass without a disinfection and cleaning event
Q12. What action did you take to ensure that bats are not posing a threat to occupants’ health?
- PSPC consulted leading experts and scientists to assess the risks to human health
- So far, all scientists indicated that bats within the building envelope posed no human health risk
- An early hypothesis advanced that bats potentially could affect air quality due to a particular fungus bats may be disseminating
- Air samples showed no concern in this regard and further test will be conducted in the summer, when bats are most active
- To date, all captured bats have been healthy
Q13. What actions are you taking to prevent bats from entering the Complex?
- PSPC recently started working with consulting firm Stantec to develop a bat management plan to keep bats out of the complex
- Stantec will identify the bat species and determine why and when they use the complex. The work will be completed by fall 2020 and final report by March 2021
- We also implemented various pest control measures, which mainly consists of daily inspections and an annual program to seal points of entry on the exterior surfaces
- We also commissioned a series of studies from leading scientists in bat biology and ecology
- We are working with a consultant to install bat habitat boxes before the summer to keep them away from the complex
Q14. Was any bedbug found at LTDLC?
- To date, no bedbug presence has been confirmed at LTDLC
- As early reporting remains key to effective pest control, we encourage everyone to notify their manager or call the National Service Call Centre, so an investigation and treatment can take place
- All calls remain anonymous
Q15. Has the work to modernize the exterior envelope started?
- With third party experts, PSPC conducted a thorough evaluation of the proposed envelope design with respect to costs, risks and schedule
- We are modifying the original planned exterior envelope design to use a more conventional envelope system to mitigate costs, risks and schedule impacts
- The design of the new envelope will be completed next spring with construction anticipated to begin in summer 2021
Q16. How long will it take to complete the modernization of the exterior envelope and how will this affect occupants?
- The construction is anticipated to start in the summer of 2021 and will take several years
- We have a swing space strategy to relocate occupants in the immediate vicinity of the exterior walls (within 10 feet) over the duration of the project
- This will create a construction corridor and barrier between the construction zone and occupied spaces.
Q17. Will there be any health risk posed by the exterior envelope modernization project?
- Requirements regarding the management of designated substances will be adhered to ensure the safety of occupants
- PSPC will follow its Asbestos Management Plan throughout the modernization
Q18. What is PSPC doing to manage Asbestos at the LTDLC?
- A robust asbestos management program is in place in all PSPC owned buildings to ensure compliance with applicable legislation
- Before any work can starts, an investigation is completed to identify all potentially hazardous materials in the work area
- PSPC is proactively meeting with employees to explain the remedial work being done (HUDDLES)
- The standard takes the most stringent requirements
- Following the investigation, a report detailing the materials present and the precaution that needs to be used
- Latest Asbestos Management Plan for the complex is dated from 2017, but we are reviewing to further refine the plan
Occupational health and safety inspection of the complex
Q19. What is the status of the floor by floor investigation that was conducted in 2018?
- During the investigation, 788 deficiencies were identified
- To date, 91% of these deficiencies have been fully addressed
- The remaining deficiencies are all related to problematic windows
- They will be replaced cyclically throughout fiscal years 2019/2020 and 2020/2021
GCworkplace: Interior modernization
Q20. What is the status of GCworkplace modernization?
- Work is being done to modernize the office space at Les Terrasses
- The approach is to to modernize workplaces so that they better leverage technology and support collaboration, innovation, and flexibility
- Several fit-up projects to GCworkplace accommodation standards have already been completed, underway or in the planning stage
- The timelines for the work are as follows:
|Building||Floor(s)||Planning and approvals||Design||Construction|
|15 Eddy||2 and 5||Complete||Complete||Complete|
|25 Eddy||15||Complete||Complete||Jan. to June 2020|
|15/25 Eddy||6||Complete||Jan. 2020||Feb. to July 2020|
|15 Eddy||4||Jan. to May 2020||June to Dec. 2020||Dec. 2020 to Sept. 2021|
|15/25 Eddy||15, 17, 18 and 19||Feb. to Aug. 2020||Oct. 2020 to May 2021||May 2021 to March 2022|
|10 Wellington||19||Feb. to Aug. 2020||Oct. 2020 to May 2021||June 2021 to Jan. 2022|
|10 Wellington||17 and 18||March to Oct. 2020||Dec. 2020 to Sept. 2021||Oct. 2021 to July 2022|
Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) infractions
Q21. What is the status of the ESDC Inspection/Investigation and items of voluntary compliance issued?
- We received the Infraction report in September 2018
- PSPC and ISC/CIRNAC worked to complete and address
- Follow up action completed on 20 of the 21 items. Awaiting official closure with ESDC (via ISC/CIRNAC)
- Remaining item (bat intrusion) will be addressed via major Envelope Replacement Project
Q22. What is the status of the Building Condition Report (BCR) and Building Capacity Assessment (BCA)?
- Reports were completed and submitted to PSPC November 2019
- Building is safe for occupants
- PSPC is reviewing the reports in collaboration with BGIS. Further studies are currently underway
- PSPC will organize an information session for LTDLC employees to present the findings and will publish the reports
- LTDLC modernization project will contribute to the overall air flow of the buildings
- In the meantime, we continue to implement measures to improve occupants comfort
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