Here is a letter presented by Architect, Robert Ritz on April 30th to Planning & Heritage
Stratford Railway Shops
April 30, 2015
Top Points to Not Commission Full Demolition
Before Council decides to commission partial or full demolition the following points have to be addressed and questions have to be answered. The focus should not be to tear it down but to make the site and building safe, usable and attractive at the lowest cost for the taxpayer and any future purchaser.
Why should the building not be totally demolished – because of the cost!!
1. Free enterprise demolishes buildings to reduce property taxes. This reason does not apply to this property.
2. What are the taxpayers’ costs to date for this property?
3.Does the purchaser pay the cost of full or partial demolition on top of what the City’s costs to date are for property?
4. What is the cost to demolish?
5. Designated Substances affect the cost of repair or demolition. Was a Designated Substance Report prepared and considered in the cost to repair or demolish?
6.Explain how or if the taxpayer will ever recover the costs the City has invested in this property since it was purchased.
7.If the developer can work with a partially demolished building to create a unique development then why would they pay the additional cost for full demolition?
8.Developers who do not like what has not been demolished can, at their cost, demolish the rest and not at the taxpayers’ cost.
9.Why would the taxpayer cover the cost of full demolition when partial demolition and repair solve the safety and access issues?
10.Maintaining a few bays intact implies development of these bays to make them water tight, insulated and conditioned for an unknown use plus the annual cost to operate it. Does the taxpayer know what this cost is?
Determine what components require repair to make the building and site safe, usable and attractive. 1. Roof asphalt membrane
2. Roof deck
3. Roof steel structure
4. Steel columns supporting roof structure
5. Concrete walls supporting roof structure
6. Annex brick cladding
7. Concrete floor
Determine the itemized cost to demolish or repair components that require repair and maintenance to make the building and site safe, usable and attractive.
1. Roof asphalt membrane – demolish since it has to be removed to be repaired
2. Roof deck – demolish since it has to be removed to be repaired
3.Roof steel structure – it can be cleaned and protected with Galvafroid coating but with scrap value it may be more economical to demolish with some sections remaining to indicate profile of roof
4.Steel columns supporting roof structure – it can be cleaned and protected with Galvafroid coating but if the roof is removed they serve no function except to support the sections of the remaining roof structure to indicate profile of roof
5.Concrete walls supporting roof structure – This portion of the building has great heritage value and the reinforced concrete embedded into steel columns is difficult and expensive to demolish with minimal scrap value. Demolition would be more expensive than the cost to, retain and clean the concrete and steel, cap the top of the concrete with roofing membrane to make water tight and protect steel with Galvafroid coating.
6.Annex – This portion of the building has less heritage value than the original concrete wall portion. The steel structure supporting this brick faced addition consists of structural steel sections that have great reclaimed steel value. Because of the value of the steel and the fact that brick is simpler to demolish than concrete, it is be more economical to demolish this entire structure than to retain it.
7. Concrete floor – has various thickness and has reinforcement around the rails to support the locomotives and other uses of the building have added deep footings to support equipment. Demolition would be more expensive than the cost to, retain and clean the concrete. 8. Concrete foundations – are very deep in the west end of the building. Removal would more expensive than the cost to retain and cap with concrete.
Conclusion – Save the taxpayers’ money. Only demolish components that are more expensive to repair and maintain to make the building and site safe, usable and attractive. Spending any more would not be good stewardship of the taxpayers’ dollar.
ROBERT RITZ, B. Arch., O.A.A., M.A.A.
R. RITZ ARCHITECT