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Ottawa, ON Canada

The Centre Block is the centre of the Canadian Parliamentary complex and houses both the House of Commons and the Senate, where most administrative decisions occur for the country.

Sensequake was approached to assess the structural integrity of the structure as part of the 3 billion, 20-year project to rehabilitate the parliamentary complex.

The Centre Block is was rebuilt in 1927 after a fire and is a steel frame masonry 6 story structure with 1 basement. In order to properly extract the necessary information from this complex structure, 30 unique tests over two distinct testing phases were conducted including:

   - A baseline of the structure

   - A global test

   - Sectional tests to see interactions between structural blocks

   - Joint tests between critical locations

   - Tests finding the interaction with the ventilation towers

   - Flexibility tests to determine floor flexibility

   - Examining the effect of seasonal changes between both phases

These tests helped lower the rehabilitation team's finite-element model's error down 30% and helped the team define areas of interest for further investigations.

The Peace Tower  was constructed at the same time as the Centre Block and is also a steel frame masonry structure. The tower stands at 92 meters and has 13 levels which were tested by our team.

Due to its height, the building was thoroughly analyzed for its flexibility and our technology's capability to derive higher modes and their shape in high detail gave the rehabilitation team great information regarding the true behaviour of the structure. Our testing included:

   - A baseline of the structure

   - A global test

   - Extracting the fundamental frequencies of the tower

   - Determining the mode shapes

   - Helping to calibrate the rehabilitation team's finite element model

 

The East Block is an adjacent structure next to the central parliamentary block and was originally constructed in 1868 with an additional wing built in 1905 for additional office space. The third floor of the original structural was also converted from an attic space to offices.

Due to these various changes in construction types, different comparative tests were use by our team in order to obtain the true behaviour of the structure. This was done with the aid of:

   - The structure's baseline

   - A global test of the structure

   - Different section tests between the probable blocks

   - Flexibility tests to see the differences between the different floor           types

   - Helped the team build a more efficient seismic retrofit plan

 

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