2017 Award of Excellence – Conservation – Engineering

Canadian National War Memorial

Considered the second most important ceremonial centre of the national capital, after Parliament Hill, the National War Memorial (NWM) in Ottawa, Ontario was built in 1937-1939 and was unveiled by Prime Minister Mackenzie King in May 1939 to commemorate Canadian lives lost in the First World War. Consisting of a central monument (designed by Vernon March), and surrounded by a large paved plaza known as Confederation Square – now designated a national Historic Site since 1984, it is the site of numerous ceremonial functions as well as a large Remembrance Day ceremony each year. In 1980, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was added to the site making it a National Historic Site, ceremonial site, and a burial site.

WSP worked in concert with the Lead Architect, Landscape architect, and Conservator, to ensure that the restoration work produced a finished product without any apparent structural interventions. The structural engineering solution evolved and developed in response to the deteriorated slab supporting the plaza was to infill the void beneath the slab with low strength self-consolidating and shrinkage controlled concrete fill. Then construct a new durable slab to support the reconstructed stone pavers. The seismic assessment of the monument consisted of recognizing that the structure consists of large individual granite blocks that are inter connected with bronze pins. We performed multiple non-linear time history analyses using gap elements between the stone, which would resist shear but not tension allowing the stones to rock without sliding thereby satisfying the seismic performance requirements without requiring significant interventions into the heritage structure.


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