Track 3: DELIVERY – INTERVENING INTO HISTORIC PLACES / Volet 3 : Réalisation – Intervenir dans les lieux historiques

Upgrading the Performance of Heritage Windows to Suit Modern Design Conditions - 100 Wellington Street, Ottawa

Friday, October 13
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM

100 Wellington Street was constructed in Ottawa circa 1931 and served as the United States Embassy until 1997, when ownership was transferred to the Canadian Government. The Canadian Government was looking to repurpose this heritage designated building to public Gallery Space, capitalizing on its prominent location across from Parliament Hill.
With the proposed change to Gallery Space, the interior operating conditions were changed to add winter time humidification, with museum quality limits on temperature and relative humidity. The heritage designated windows, which consist of single glazed non-thermally broken bronze frames, needed to be upgraded to tolerate the proposed interior operating conditions during winter design conditions in a cold weather climate. The challenge was to upgrade the air-tightness and thermal properties of the windows without negatively impacting on the heritage character of the building.
This paper will discuss how hygrothermal field monitoring and analysis was used to evaluate and quantify the performance of the original heritage windows and building envelope to the proposed interior operating conditions. It will describe the window rehabilitation approach that was developed. The paper will also demonstrate the validity of the design concept through the construction and monitoring of a full scale in-situ mock-up. Finally this paper presents the hygrothermal monitoring results of the window mock-up and discusses the key findings and lessons learned related to the strategies and concepts utilized for dealing with heritage window upgrades in a cold weather climate.

Learning Objectives:

Scott Tomlinson, Professional Engineer

Principal, Sr. Building Science Engineer
Morrison Hershfield Limited

Scott is a Building Science, Heritage Engineering, and Structural Engineering Specialist in Morrison Hershfield’s Ottawa Building Science team, where he is team lead for Rehabilitation and Heritage projects. He is an experienced senior project manager with practical and rational expertise on a wide variety of structural and building science related projects, which have included heritage building rehabilitations, condition assessment, forensic investigation, and building assemblies performance testing. Scott was a primary author and instructor for Parks Canada “Window Conservation for Historic Places” two-day training workshop, presenting window conservation building science and heritage engineering concepts, which has been delivered across Canada.


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James Maddigan

Senior Associate
Robertson Martin Architects, Inc.

Mr. Maddigan, is a Senior Associate, and Building Conservation Specialist with the firm Robertson Martin Architects, Ottawa, ON. His career in heritage conservation started in 1995 on graduation from Algonquin College with a diploma in Architectural Technology, specialization in building conservation. In 2002, he received a Masters in Conservation of the Built Environment, from the Université de Montréal. Through education, experience and training he has developed an expertise in heritage conservation, with emphasis on heritage materials, assemblies and finishes. Buildings and projects he has worked on include: Chateau de Ramezay, Library of Parliament; Rideau Hall (Residence of the Governor General); and House of Commons (Centre Block).


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Upgrading the Performance of Heritage Windows to Suit Modern Design Conditions - 100 Wellington Street, Ottawa

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