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Grace Hospital, Windsor

The scope of work for this project included the Site Clean Up & Asbestos Abatement, followed by the Complete Demolition and Site Restoration of the Contaminated Site

Project Background and Details: 

The land parcel comprising the Site is rectangular in shape and occupies an area of approximately 2.6 hectares. The northern portion of the Site contained the 296,000 square foot former Grace Hospital building. The main hospital building was a seven-storey reinforced concrete structure and adjacent to the northern end of the main building was the Brett Building, a four-storey structure. Ancillary structures included a former Boiler House and smokestack, a carpentry shop, a kitchen, a laundry facility, and a medical gas storage area.  Asphalt-paved parking areas formerly occupied the southern portion of the Site.  

Once the Hospital closed, it was purchased by a private company with the intention of renovating the structure and repurposing the facility. For various unknown reasons, the owner began the work on the structure, but halted the process and pulled offsite, completing about half of the interior removals. 

The Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Labour had stepped in and issued orders against the property in an effort to force the clean up the site and make it safe. The City of Windsor also stepped in and expropriated the site. Once they had possession of the site, they immediately sought to Pre Qualify Experienced and Capable Contractors to undertake the enormous task of cleaning up the site. The City selected 6 Contractors that had the qualifications to complete this work, Budget Environmental Disposal being among the six Prequalified Contractors. 

After successfully tendering the work, the Budget Demolition team began immediately to rectify and satisfy the MOE & MOL orders that were still outstanding on the site. A meeting was arranged with all of the inspectors from the various agency as well as the City of Windsor and their Contract Managers, Conestoga Rovers.

Prior to starting any asbestos abatement or demolition work onsite, a detailed Site Specific Health and Safety Plan(HASP) had to be prepared by our Project Team. This HASP outlined the strategy for the safe decontamination of each area of the facility, a dust control plan for the site, a detailed demolition plan and a demolition procedure prepared by our engineer, it also included the MSDS’s for the site, the AST removal plan, the Utility Decommissioning Plan for the site, The PCB and Mercury Removal Plan, the Chemical Sweep Plan, the Lead abatement procedures, and any other plans that were to be implemented on the site for the project. As the work progressed, other procedures and work plans were submitted, such as the site restoration plan.

Project Challenges: 

Due to the condition of the site prior to Budget Environmental Disposal Inc being engaged to clean it up, the site had made major news headlines not only in Windsor but also in surrounding Cities. The local media had constant coverage of the progression of the project, from the tender opening down to the final site grading of the site. The project underwent constant public scrutiny, but, due to the professional approach of all parties involved, there was very little, if any, reason for any negative light on the project, and the overall response from the media and local residences was one of relief and satisfaction in how the project was handled and completed. 

Due to the friable nature of the asbestos inside of the building and outside the building in the parking lots, there was a serious potential that once the material was disturbed that it could become airborne and pose a risk to all onsite and living in the surrounding neighborhood. One of the conditions of the work imposed by The Ministry of the Environment was for the daily monitoring of the air quality surrounding the site. To fulfill this requirement, and as part of our contract, the City of Windsor required that we engage a consultant to monitor the air quality surrounding the perimeter of the site, and if there were any issues, we had to cease work onsite immediately and rectify the issue. Because of the no risk approach that was taken from the beginning of the project, there were never any work stoppages and there were no issues with contaminating the residential neighborhood any further.  

The overall height of the structures presented a challenge that was met by our 70’ demolition equipped high reach excavator and our 90’ demolition equipped high reach excavator. These two machines were brought in to remove the high portions of the building, and these were supported by the numerous other pieces of equipment that were onsite to process the material as it was being demolished.

In summation, the project was completed to the Level of Professional Standards that, the City of Windsor, the Contract Manager Conestoga Rovers, the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Labour, had set forth and had required from the successful contractor. All of the Hazardous Risks that the site had associated with it had been dealt with in a way so as to not expose anyone further, and to effectively eliminate and remove this Hazardous Asbestos Contaminated Site from the community and the families that were unfortunately affected by the negligence of the former owner.