2019 Award of Excellence – Conservation – Engineering

Senate of Canada – Government Conference Centre Rehabilitation (Ottawa)

Awarded to:

Lisa Nicol, John G. Cooke & Associates Ltd.
John Cooke, John G. Cooke & Associates Ltd.

The Senate of Canada – Government Conference Centre Rehabilitation was awarded for a thorough submission highlighting the exemplary and innovative seismic design for the temporary home of the Senate. The judges were impressed by the numerous challenges outlined in the submission, and how the structural engineers found creative structural solutions that conform to the Standards and Guidelines. The judges noted the project’s thorough and sophisticated analyses and rigorous design process that ultimately led to an exemplary outcome that we all can aspire to achieve.


Structural Rehabilitation to a prominent Historic Building in Ottawa, Ontario to serve as the temporary home of the Senate and future multipurpose and government use building. The project includes exterior masonry conservation, seismic upgrading to meet NBC 2010 requirements, a new structure to seat the multi-level Senate and a new East Addition. New floor plates were introduced in various areas of the building and a full basement was excavated in a few building blocks to increase usable floor area.

John Cooke & Associates was involved starting in the schematic design phase, where strategies and principles to minimize impact on heritage fabrics were developed and outlined for the rest of the project. The project started in 2014 and was complete in 2018. Sustainable design strategies were achieved throughout the project; these included salvaging existing stones for reuse and looking at the existing building structures with an eye to upgrading them – not replacing them.