The Quinte Courthouse, located in Belleville, Ontario, brings together four courthouse locations under one roof. The new courthouse increases the number of available courtrooms to eleven, serving both Ontario and Superior courts. The facility also provides better security and improves access for people with disabilities.
Situated in a 100-year flood zone, the Quinte
Courthouse is meters from Lake Ontario and Moira
The courthouse features ten courtrooms, one
motions room, and five judicial hearings suites.
The 173,000-square-foot building is targeting LEED® Silver certification and features a ceremonial plaza and open atrium lobby that offer exceptional views of downtown Belleville and Lake Ontario. With the exterior displaying copper canopies, curtain wall, and limestone, and the interior showcasing extensive millwork paneling and terrazzo floors, the building’s high-end finishes make this project a distinguished landmark in the city of Belleville.
Flood Plain Requires Water Management
Only meters from the shore of Lake Ontario and the banks of the Moira River, the Quinte Courthouse is situated in a 100-year flood zone. Prior to construction, each site in the area undergoes rigorous surveying; even so, the reports generated are only a snapshot of the earth’s composition. Once construction begins, the true composition is unveiled.
The high water table meant the building required a higher level of foundation waterproofing. The team needed to excavate the site and install the mud slab, followed by a waterproofing membrane and a top mud slab, before commencing the foundation formwork. This was done to provide extra waterproofing to create a barrier between the groundwater and the building. Waterproofing materials are typically used only on the exterior of the foundation; in this case the team had to encapsulate the entire building to prevent water from seeping in. This type of structure takes more than double the usual amount of time and a builder who can adapt quickly to changes in the construction process.
Achieving Project Milestones through Open Communication
Every project sets milestones throughout both the design and construction phases. The Quinte Courthouse had a rigorous 24-month schedule. To maintain the schedule and achieve signoff on each of the contractual milestones, the PCL team along with the owner Infrastructure Ontario maintained open communication and shared feedback for the duration of the project.
During each stage of design development and construction development, the PCL team provided the client with tender packages so that approvals would take place between the various contractual milestone dates. The ongoing collaboration between the client and construction team was instrumental in the approval process, as both parties had the opportunity to discuss and agree on the terms prior to the actual deadline dates. This two-way communication allowed the project to move forward without delay.
“The staff of the Quinte Courthouse are proud to work in this spacious, light-filled modern building that is the culmination of years of planning and collaboration,” said Bonnie Gryce, manager of court operations, Court Services Division, Ministry of the Attorney General. “The new building really reflects the dignity and professionalism of the justice system.”