Asbestos & More Keeps New PM out of 24 Sussex

With the election of a new Prime Minister comes a quandary… what to do about the official PM’s residence at 22 Sussex Drive in Ottawa? The Victorian mansion, according to reports, suffers from decades of neglect. Lack of maintenance is a recipe for a variety of ills, including asbestos.

Among the many issues that need renovation:

  • plumbing,
  • windows that don’t close properly,
  • a 50 year-old knob-and-tube electrical system,
  • outdated HVAC,
  • in short, all of the building’s major systems.

Those facts come from a 2008 report by the auditor general that concluded about $10 million in repairs were required. The former PM chose to stay in the residence and not allow the renovations to proceed.

Many former residents of 22 Sussex, including Margaret Trudeau and Maureen McTeer, who has gone so far as to call for its destruction. “That’s why an old, crumbling building with asbestos, which we know is poison, really is so lacking of vision, if you will, and [does not reflect] who we are as Canadians,” she explained in a media interview.

As it is, Prime Minister-Designate Justin Trudeau and his family will have to find other digs while the official residence, originally built in the 19th century, is renovated. Since the work are anticipated to take 12 to 15 months (and that’s fairly optimistic!) the officials in charge of the official residence are taking advantage of the change of government to get it done now.

A Green Makeover?
Some are calling for a “green” makeover of the historic building as a showcase for what new and environmentally responsible technology can do. The process is called “net-zero” heritage retrofit. Net-zero, as the term implies, means that over its lifetime, the buildiing will produce as much energy as it consumes. The end result would be ultra energy-efficient and also mould resistant, with the improved ventilation that comes along with it.

If the new PM is serious about making a statement on climate change, it doesn’t get any closer than home. The National Capital Commission, the agency responsible for the official residence, has not released any details on the planned renovations as yet.

Asbestos in Your Home?
Neglect is a recipe for a variety of ills when it comes to your home, including mould infestation. Once walls are opened, if your home was built before the mid-1980’s or so, you are likely to find asbestos in the walls.

We can help. If you have mould or asbestos your home, our experienced technicians can help you with your environmental issues. In the Toronto area contact GreenStreamEnvironmental.ca at (416) 818-9414.

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