Tri-Phase Takes Part in Historic Windsor Star Building Transformation


On Nov. 23, 2011, the University of Windsor purchased the iconic Windsor Star building in the downtown core of the city, as part of their plan to transform the landscape of their campus and firmly anchor their commitment to being a student-centered university. As part of that plan, the university will move its school of social work and the Centre for Executive and Professional Development into the former Windsor Star building. Tri-Phase was awarded the honour of environmentally remediating the facility in advance of the renovations and upgrades. This remediation will help transform the core of the building into a suitable educational establishment for future students.

The Windsor Star building is a composite structure on the corner of Pitt and Ferry Street comprised of three interconnecting sections from different periods and structural systems. The northeast corner section was constructed in 1927, and the older 1918 wing adjoins to the south along Ferry Street. Further west along Pitt Street is the 1953 addition. Asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) were not banned until 1980 and continued to be sold until 1986. Testing of the site showed ACMs were present within the building core. Tri-Phase brought in its certified technicians to complete Type 1, Type 2 and Type 3 asbestos abatement. Technicians also removed and disposed of mercury and PCB-containing materials such as floor tiles, window and door caulking, drywall joint compound, ceiling tiles, pipefittings and insulation.

One of the biggest challenges Tri-Phase overcame during the execution of this project was planning the schedule and adhering to it. While Tri-Phase technicians worked diligently to complete abatement work, another building that shared a structural wall with the Windsor Star building was being constructed simultaneously. Several different trades were all working at the same time and connecting different feeds at various locations throughout the area. Furthermore, any common areas had to be tested and deemed safe following abatement in order for other trades to complete their work without concern for asbestos exposure or contamination. As a result, scheduling and accurate project delivery was of utmost importance.

Making sure this highly publicized project was completed on time was a true test of the professionalism of Tri-Phase staff and the company exceeded the university’s expectations. By continuously staffing the project with appropriate crews and equipment and working two shifts, 24 hours a day all work was completed according to the project schedule, allowing the University of Windsor to turn over the renovation and expansion work to the general contractor in summer 2013 and paving the way for total project completion in spring 2015.