The incredible journey of reviving Westinghouse HQ has been a collaborative effort involving many talented and dedicated people. To share some further details and insight into our journey, we would like to introduce the construction firm that has been managing the project’s rebuild, Collaborative Structures Ltd. (CSL). Below is a brief interview with key members of the team:
Please introduce CSL’s work and why you’ve chosen to be involved in the Westinghouse HQ redevelopment.
Collaborative Structures Ltd. (CSL) is a leader in construction management, general contracting, and design build services within Southwestern Ontario. Our emphasis is on Project Execution Excellence throughout the entire design and build process. That is how we achieve smart builds, on-time and on-budget. It’s a philosophy that has guided us from the start in 2003, when CSL was established by our Founder & President, David Timlock, P. Eng.
Collaboration is our strong point, demonstrated in over 200 projects on behalf of dozens of clients. CSL jumped at the chance to be involved in the Westinghouse project, we really saw it as a chance to help modernize and revitalize the area.
Heritage restoration work is a meaningful activity for our firm as it breathes new life into significant buildings from the past. Heritage restoration tends to be one of the most difficult build types because there are a number of unforeseeable challenges and the entire build team has to work collaboratively to ensure that modern standards are met while maintaining the historical elements of the project. Working with Westinghouse HQ and team has been a successful collaboration.
Please share a summary of the construction journey until the present and any special or unique aspects of restoring and working on this historic building.
As a designated heritage building built in 1917, there have been many unique elements about working on this project. When working on a heritage site, there are strict parameters that we must adhere to in order to protect the historical aspects of the building. The extent of work can vary—from a cosmetic facelift of some architectural finishes—to a complete rebuild while maintaining the original architectural features. At Westinghouse HQ certain windows and doors are designated heritage and as such, must be maintained and refinished rather than replaced. The majority of the outside façade, brick and stone, have been preserved.
There have been many notable discoveries during the construction process. One of those examples is the revelation of structural clay tiles used in the original construction throughout the building. Speed tiles, as they are commonly called, were used in the early 1900’s because it was lightweight and was good for fire protection.
The speed tiles, seen in this picture around the door frame, created rebuild challenges for everything from elevator shaft reworking to hanging light fixtures and ductwork.
At this point in the construction we have replaced windows, the entire roof structure and membrane; and we have enlarged the elevator shaft to fit two elevator cabs to meet today’s standard. All of the perimeter walls now have spray insulation and drywall. Mechanical areaways for HVAC intake/exhausts are underway, and all underground plumbing is complete. We are currently working on foundations for the front vestibule and the Terrazzo, plaster ceilings, walls, and mouldings are being refinished on the main floor.
Please give us an update on where the project currently is, in terms of the timeline of completion.
The anticipated completion is scheduled for the end of October.