Air quality—Les Terrasses de la Chaudière
Federal employees voiced concerns about indoor air quality issues at Les Terrasses de la Chaudière (LTDLC). This, and other health and safety concerns, have been reported in the media on several occasions over the last decade.
Unions and stakeholders were engaged on several occasions this year. PSPC has performed, and continues to perform improvements to the building and follow up investigations with experts in response to various concerns raised by the health and safety committees.
- The government is committed to ensuring the health and safety of its building occupants and visitors
- An interdepartmental Occupational Health and Safety committee has been established to discuss specific issues affecting the tenants of LTDLC, and PSPC
- All air quality tests performed to date, including regular testing throughout the building as well as extra testing targeted in the areas subject to complaints at Les Terrasses de la Chaudière complex, meet the requirements for occupancy
- We continue to work with all stakeholders to address any issues within the building and will continue to take the necessary steps to ensure a safe and healthy workplace
If pressed on modernization:
- in the coming years, Les Terrasses will undergo a major renewal and modernization
- we are maintaining our ratio of 75 percent of Ottawa-Gatineau public servants in Ottawa and 25 percent in Gatineau
If pressed on asbestos:
- a robust asbestos management program is in place in all Public Services and Procurement Canada-owned buildings to ensure compliance with applicable legislation
If pressed on bats:
- a robust pest management program is in place at Les Terrasses de la Chaudière daily inspections are undertaken in the building and open communications are in place between building management and the tenants
- an annual brick and caulking inspection and repair program is in place which includes sealing of entry points to the building on exterior surfaces
Indoor air quality
Les Terrasses de la Chaudière is a four-tower, 164,000 m² office complex that was built in 1976. The complex houses approximately 6,400 employees from several departments, including Crown Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, Indigenous Services Canada, the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Canadian Transport Agency, and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.
Employees on certain floors have complained of air quality issues.
In addition to regular testing throughout the building, PSPC has conducted extra testing targeted at the areas subject to complaints. Recent test results from 2017, 2018 and 2019 indicate that air quality is within guidelines. Further comprehensive air quality testing is ongoing in 2019, based on industry best practices, input from the tenant surveys and Health Canada recommendations.
From fall 2018 to spring 2019, PSPC relocated all the occupants of the 6th floor at 15-25 Eddy to 234 Laurier to address employees concerns related to indoor air quality. This key move provided an opportunity to plan and execute a full modernization of that floor to support a building wide modernization program.
In September 2018, 21 infractions were issued by Employment & Social Development Canada (ESDC) Labour Affairs to Indigenous Services Canada (ISC)/Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC). They relate to incidents ranging from water fountains impacting the width of hallways, material impeding fire egresses, air quality concerns and bat infiltrations. Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) as well as ISC/CIRNAC are working diligently to address these infractions.
The replacement of the building envelope will address the health and safety risk due to the premature failure of the existing building envelope brick cladding. This will remove the need for precautionary temporary measures, such as overhead protection, to mitigate the risk of falling brick fragments. The new envelope will also support PSPC’s energy efficiency target towards improving the facility’s overall energy performance by 24 percent above the National Energy Code for Buildings.
[REDACTED], and NCC design approval on April 11, 2019. The project is currently in the design stage and will be implemented in a phased approach in the coming years.
Les Terrasses de la Chaudière is prone to occasional bat intrusion due to cracks on the exterior surface of the complex and its proximity to the Ottawa River. Numerous measures were put in place to mitigate and reduce the presence of bats. The presence of bats will be significantly reduced as we move forward with the exterior rehabilitation of Les Terrasses de la Chaudière.
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