The second project was Bruce building, this one was a bit more exciting for our carpenters as we took what was originally a lounge area and restored it to a modern looking conference room, one board at a time (literally). In this building the one of the first steps was to meet with Dean, Paulette (ReForests’ project manager) and Tom Davis, a Professor of Building Technology at Fanshawe. Tom has over 35-year experience in the construction industry and has been a consultant worldwide on energy efficiency projects, both new builds and retro fits to older buildings like these. At that first meeting Tom took out his thermal Imaging camera and took digital images of the building. It was a cold day and since there was so little insulation and so many leaks the building looked like it was on fire. So, our first goal became even more obvious, we needed to upgrade the insulation and air tightness of this building. The next step in the process was to have a company come in and removal the asbestos which was in the old flooring that remained. Prior to starting any projects, ReForest had a Designates Substance Survey done for the all the buildings which Is so important when dealing with old buildings it’s the first thing you should do whenever planning to renovate an older building for everyone’s safety. Next, we removed all the old plaster and bits of insulation from the upper walls and ceilings and wood paneling on the lower walls. The original plan was to leave the paneling and add insulation by filling the cavity with loose fill and later add insulation to the exterior when the budget allowed so that there would be no damage to the paneling as it was very dry. But we found there was a little bit of insulation in the wall so we could not add insulation without removing the paneling. So, the decision was made to remove the paneling. Robert one of our carpenters started taking off each board very carefully, removing all the old nails and marking them while one of the apprentices stacked them very neatly, not only was this time consuming but they had to wear special masks as the old finish contained lead-based urethane so special care had to be taken so the original finish wasn’t chipped or damaged as we couldn’t sand the paneling. This removal allowed us to rewire the entire space, add new wiring for future AV requirement’s and add spray foam insulation into the walls.We were able to achieve an R20 insulation value in the 2x4 walls and equally importantly we filled in those little nooks and crannies where air was literally blowing in. We also had the old stone fireplace cleaned with steam system so it would not damage the stone or the mortar, but it did remove most of the old smoke stains. Once all this was done the wood paneling was re-installed, drywall hung and finished and painted. Covenant brough local Artists Peter Karas and Corrine Garlick (The Dick and Jane Art Co.) to do a mural that was inspired by the grounds and history of the site (it gorgeous). We then applied a clear topcoat to the original wood paneling and moldings to give them new life. New LVP flooring was added with a dark inlay to give the room some additional details and new baseboards were added as the room previously did not have baseboards. We also gave the side deck a facelift and added two accessible doors to the building, ReForest is working this spring to add ramps to this building so it’s completely accessible. Our millwork shop made custom cabinets and a rolling server cart so that the new conference room was ready for entertaining and holding meetings. A special thank you to Hanwah (Hanstone) as they donated the countertops to the project, and Kohler for donating the faucet.The other two buildings are Perth and Wellington, to date all that has been done is to remove some of the decaying interior materials in both and to board up and secure Wellington from further damage by vandals. While this may not sound exciting you could see all our carpenter’s eyes light up as we walked through the Wellington building and saw the amazing structure that is still in place. It’s a shame so few of the buildings still remain but it has been our pleasure and honor to work with Dean and ReForest to salvage and restore what ones are left. The Last two are what Dean has his most ambitious plans for, the Westminster Ponds Centre—London’s first and Only community-based environmental Centre. I can’t wait.