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Garage Collapse of Confederation Place Hotel

Garage Collapse of Confederation Place Hotel

The Confederation Place Hotel is located in downtown Kingston on the waterfront of Lake Ontario. The parking garage of the Confederation Place Hotel is in the basement of this six-story hotel. In April 2010, the two-story parkade collapsed, crushing cars on the first floor. The collapse of the structure was a result of increased load from re-paving and concrete deterioration due to winter salt.

We were hired, alongside the Ministry of Labour and Engineers, to handle this extremely challenging repair. The project required stabilization of the building, including the safe removal of cars, selective demolition, removal of interior ceilings, HVAC ductwork and equipment, and engineered concrete cutting and removal work. All of this work had to take place in the confines of the basement, without causing further damage to the hotel.

Confederation Hotel

The Challenge

This emergency project had numerous challenges. Before any work could begin, we needed safe access to the site. The basement location and instability of the building required innovative access solutions. We also needed to secure cars that remained on the second floor, some of which were hanging.

This project required constant communication between the owner, engineer, the City of Kingston, and the Ministry of Labour to ensure all stakeholders were aware of the costs, the changing scope of the project, and the eventual schedule to reopen the hotel. Given the nature of the work, we were also required to submit daily engineered work plans to the City of Kingston and Ministry of Labour.

Because the hotel was shut down after the collapse, the timelines were tight. We worked days, nights, and weekends so the hotel could reopen as soon as possible.

The Solution

With the Ministry of Labour, we developed an access plan, which allowed our workers to safely access the site. Once this was complete, we  installed the necessary shoring jacks to ensure the building was stable enough to proceed with demolition and removals. As part of the stabilization process, we secured the unstable cars in the parking garage by foaming them into place. This way, the vehicles were secured in position until they could be safely removed.

To ensure the success of this project, we partnered with Becker Engineering, a structural engineering firm that specializes in building and structural failures. The mechanical and electrical portions of this project were completed by JL Richards & Associates, a multi-disciplinary engineering firm. 

With collaboration, top-notch planning, and creative problem solving, we were able to install a new concrete garage, within the basement confines of the existing six story building. And the hotel was able to reopen within two months.

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