Oct. 18, 2019 - Update on Stewart Biology West Wing renovation project


Published: 22Oct2019

October 18, 2019


BUILDING: Stewart Biology Building

PROJECT TITLE & NUMBER: 14-125 – Redevelopment of West Wing

DESCRIPTION: Complete demolition, reconstruction and reconfiguration of the West Wing’s interior spaces, replacement of mechanical and electrical installations, upgrades to exterior envelope


Update on Stewart Biology West Wing renovation project

The third phase (lot 3) of the West Wing renovation project is well underway. This phase consists of:

  • the completion of the interior demolition on all floors (penthouse, staircases, slabs, etc.)
  • exterior excavation;
  • the installation of the new steel structure at level W9;
  • construction of a new mechanical room in the West Wing (level W1) and a new electrical room in the North Wing (level N2);
  • installation of all electrical and mechanical base building systems to address the capacity needs identified before spring 2018 and required before starting the fourth phase (fit-out);
  • and building envelope cleaning and repairs.

Lot 3 is scheduled to be completed by early 2021. This phase follows the asbestos removal and interior demolition that started in the fall of 2017 and was completed in June 2019.

Excavation: The excavation work is focused on the southern end of the West Wing until mid-November 2019, and, from October 28 until December 9, 2019, on the back of the building (left and right of the footbridge that leads to the McIntyre Building). Note that these dates are subject to change. The excavation in the back of the building is expected to continue in the spring.

Mechanical and electrical rooms: The new penthouse mechanical room (9th floor Stewart West) and new electrical room (2nd floor Stewart North) will service both Stewart West and North. Major planned shutdowns will be necessary and will be communicated to occupants with as much notice as possible.

Challenges: Lot 3 has become more of a challenge due to some unforeseen conditions that were discovered during the excavation process. This, along with adherence to city by-laws regarding when work can be done, and general shortages in qualified workforce (particularly for plumbing and electrical specialities), has resulted in the excavation work being extended until December 2019.

We understand that this work generates noise and vibrations that may be disruptive to the other wings (including to the scheduled lectures in the South Wing). Our team has been working on assessing the impact of the expected vibrations through a series of tests, and will continue to monitor them, in collaboration with the users. Whenever possible, we will put in place mitigation measures.

We will provide occupants with more regular updates on anticipated shutdowns, new unforeseen existing conditions, progress, scheduling, etc. moving forward.

Lot 4: Designing state-of-the-art research and teaching spaces

Planning continues for the fourth and final phase of the project, which consists of the complete interior fit-out of the West Wing. The design was completed in the spring of 2018 and the call for tenders will be issued in the spring of 2020. The construction work is scheduled to start in the first quarter of 2021, with a scheduled completion for the fall of 2022.

South Wing renovation projects

Meanwhile, two other renovation projects are currently in progress in the South Wing. The first project consists of replacing the roof of levels S5 and S6, upgrading the electromechanical systems of the Phytotron, on floors S4 and S5, and enlarging the mechanical room on floor S5. The second one is a CFI-funded project on S4. These projects are scheduled to be completed by the middle of January 2020.

Facilities Management and Ancillary Services

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