By Kavin Kumar

The West Block, Canada


          The West Block is the oldest of the Parliament's Buildings. The load-bearing masonry structure was built in three campaign periods, starting in 1859 and it was completed in 1909 by the Department of Public Works. The West Block is being rehabilitated to meet the current and future needs of Parliamentarians, while respecting its heritage character. Rehabilitation work began in 2011 and building occupancy is planned for the opening session of Parliament in fall 2018. The estimated cost of the project including the construction of a permanent courtyard infill is $863 million. The West Block rehabilitation work includes the replacement of electrical, mechanical, life-safety systems, windows and roof, the rehabilitation of exterior masonry, sculptural elements and decorative ironwork. The building was structurally and seismically reinforced to withstand earthquakes. The House of Commons Chamber The building will be fit up to house the interim Chamber and associated support functions, four committee rooms and offices for the Prime Minister, House Officers, party leaders and party whips. ? ?The interim Chamber will be housed in a permanent infill in the covered courtyard. The infill will increase the West Block's total usable space by approximately 50%. Following the rehabilitation of the Centre Block, the West Block will revert to being a House of Commons facility by housing Parliamentary office suites and the infill will be converted into committee rooms. The Chamber will be covered by a glass roof. The roof is designed to filter sunlight and outside noises. The bright and airy Chamber will have a number of environmentally and people-friendly design features. These features will include a triple-glazed roof with controls to manage sunlight levels ? ?and the design also includes LED lights, which will help save energy.? ?The Department is targeting Green Globes and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certifications through the implementation of various sustainability measures.