AECOM Canada chosen to lead planning, design and compliance team for new Toronto courthouse

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STAFF WRITER
The GTA Construction Report

The new Toronto courthouse project is moving forward with the selection of AECOM Canada Ltd. as the planning, design and compliance (PDC) team, Infrastructure Ontario (IO) has announced.

“As the PDC team, AECOM Canada Ltd. will prepare project documents, including output specifications that will form the guidelines and performance requirements the successful building team must meet when preparing the project’s design. The PDC team will also monitor construction progress and provide coordination and oversight during the project’s construction, commissioning and completion, as well as during the transition to the new courthouse.”

Urbantoronto.ca reports that the new courthouse will be constructed on the site of a former surface parking lot northwest of Toronto City Hall. A rezoning application submitted to the city in the fall of 2015 suggests the building “would reach a maximum height of 135 m./483 ft. on the west side and 95 m./311 ft. on the east side of a site which includes the addresses 11 through 33 Centre Ave., and 80 through 94 Chestnut St.”

“In comparison, across the street, the 20-storey west tower of Toronto City Hall is 80 m. tall, and Toronto’s City Planning Department will want to make sure that this tower will not be seen rising behind City Hall from most points in Nathan Phillips Square to maintain the purity of existing views. An archaeological dig has been under way at the courthouse site for several months now,” the website has reported.

IO says that the courthouse, located steps from St. Patrick subway station, directly north of the Superior Court of Justice, will bring together in a single location several courts operating across the city. Amalgamation of justice programs and services is expected to reduce operational and facilities costs, make court administration more efficient, and provide better service to the community.

The new courthouse’s design will be modern and accessible with features such as:

• video conferencing to allow witnesses to appear from remote locations and in custody individuals to appear from jail;

• closed circuit television to enable children and other vulnerable individuals to appear before the court from a private room;

• courtroom video/audio systems to allow counsel to display video evidence recorded in various formats and for the simultaneous viewing of evidence;

• a single point of entry with magnetometers, baggage scanners, continuous video surveillance, and separate corridors for judiciary, members of the public and the accused for security reasons;

• barrier-free access to all courtrooms. The courthouse will be designed to meet the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver standard with a focus on energy efficiency, healthy indoor environments and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

Once the planning, design and compliance aspects are completed, the Ministry of the Attorney General and IO will issue a request for qualifications (RFQ) for a team to design, build, finance and maintain the project using IO’s alternative financing and procurement (AFP) delivery method. Under the AFP model, risks associated with the design, construction, financing and maintenance of complex projects are transferred to the private sector.

IO says it expects to issue the project RFQ this spring.

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