The Senate of Canada

Ottawa, Ontario

Project Description

What used to be known as the Government Conference Centre (GCC), now known as the Senate of Canada Building, has been restored and modernized to accommodate the Senate of Canada and Senate Legislative support functions.

Crossey Engineering’s scope included the incorporation of water and energy conservation measures, including:

  • The Cliff Street District Heating and Cooling Plant supply steam and chilled water to the building. Within the building, variable volume pumping is utilized in the chilled water, glycol and hot water heating systems to minimize pump energy.
  • Demand-controlled ventilation is utilized to control the amount of outside air supplied to the building when it is partially occupied.
  • A dedicated outside air unit (DOA) complete with heat pipe heat recovery provides outside air to fan coils located on the lower floors.
  • Lighting and lighting controls were designed to minimize energy and respond to occupancy and space use.
  • The Air handling units that serve the Committee Rooms and Senate chamber are equipped with variable frequency drives to enable the amount of supply air to be increased/decreased based on occupancy.

Design Challenges & Solutions

The GCC consisted of five separate buildings constructed at different times. Structural systems, building materials and service spaces were unique to each building.

With little as-built drawing information to guide them, the Design Team used Revit 3-D drawings to coordinate the routing of modern services through the limited space available above heritage and restored plaster ceilings. The lower service floor was filled with primary services routed horizontally across the building to meet the needs of the air handling units and spaces above.

Detailed coordination by all disciplines was required in order to ensure systems fit within the available ceiling space. This project involved coordinating the requirements from multiple stakeholder groups including the senate, etc. Crossey supported this by attending coordination meetings on a regular basis to ensure a common understanding was maintained between the client and the design team.

Crossey Engineering provided mechanical, electrical, energy modelling and commissioning work for this project.




Diamond Schmitt Architects


2021 International Architecture Award – The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies
2020 Civic Trust Awards – Award of Excellence
2020 AIA Canada Design Excellence Award
2020 Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Design Excellence in Architecture
2020 OAA Design Excellence Award
2020 CODA Award of Merit
2020 Ontario Heritage Trust – Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Award for Excellence in Conservation
2019 Architects Newspaper Awards, Adaptive Reuse, Honorable Mention
2019 Ottawa Urban Design Award – Urban Infill, Low Rise
2019 Canadian Interiors Best of Canada Awards – Institutional
2019 Building Design + Construction Magazine Reconstruction Awards – Silver
2019 Ottawa Heritage Awards: Adaptive re-use (government), Award of Excellence
2019 North American Copper in Architecture Awards – Ornamental Applications

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