Formadrain Solves a Major Problem at a Historic Site

Château Frontenac in Quebec

Quebec City’s magnificent Chateau Frontenac, containing more than 600 rooms over 18 floors, was opened in 1893 and was commissioned by the Canadian Pacific Railway Company as one of a series of their five-star luxury hotels. The structure has been added to since its opening – the Citadel Wing was added in 1899, the rue Mont-Carmel Wing in 1908, the central tower was added in 1924, and the Claude-Pratte Wing complete with indoor swimming pool and fitness center was opened in 1993.

This hotel has been the site of historic conferences such as the 1943 and 1944 World War II Allies Conferences as well as having been used as the location for such movies as “I Confess”, “Blizzard” and “Taking Live”. It also appeared on a 1993 Canada Post stamp.

In 1980, it was designed a National Historic Site of Canada. UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) declared the District of Old Quebec a World Heritage Site, giving the area legal protection under the Province of Quebec’s Cultural Property Act.

The hotel has undergone numerous repairs and renovations since opening including those to exterior windows, masonry restoration, the copper roof, repairs to elevators and renovations to the hotel’s dining and other facilities.

When it came time for the rehabilitation of its sewers situated beneath the hotel’s basement, something special was needed. The sewers, the location of which were inaccurately depicted in the building plans, contained numerous 45 and 90-degree bends, irregular elevations, and transitions from 12 to 14-inch pipes of undetermined age.

The hotel’s owners had very specific requirements for the rehabilitation of the pipes. First and foremost, the process could not disturb hotel guests or interfere with hotel services. Additionally, it insisted that the solution be environmentally friendly and contain no volatile organic compounds.

Rather than excavate the entire 200-foot line and replace it, a process the general contractor had originally examined, the Formadrain system was chosen as the perfect solution. The Formadrain’s steam-cured non-VOC liners met the project’s strict standards, and more. Formadrain’s proprietary epoxy liner was used to repair the cracks, the damaged sections, the broken sections, and even the missing sections.

The first step was a camera inspection to determine the location and condition of the pipes. This examination showed that the old cast iron pipes had degraded significantly; in fact, at one 90-degree bend at the bottom of a drop, the pipe had completely worn away. After this inspection, the contractor was then able to plot the exact position of its full run and correct the building plans.

The next step, the cleaning of the old pipes (including the removal of many sets of lost keys and a small mountain of change that had been dropped into the system over the years by the hotel’s patrons) was performed despite several days of heavy rain.

The sewer lining was done in eight pieces, beginning with the section nearest the outside manhole. Each day, the lining pieces were prepared at the contractor’s warehouse for installation that night. Formapox 301 was applied to the woven fiberglass. Formapox 301 is Formadrain’s exclusive industrial strength epoxy resin that has been specifically designed to withstand the high temperatures, caustic solutions, detergents and other chemicals that emanate from a hotel’s laundry and restaurants.

The epoxy-impregnated fiberglass was then rolled around a specially fabricated rubber bladder and taped, then wound around a lateral reel, ready for installation that night.

Upon arrival at the hotel, the reel was placed in the upstream pit for the installation and pulled in place using a two-ton winch. Once in place, the bladder was inflated with two 350,000 BTU steam units in the Formadrain trailer parked outside the hotel. 90 minutes later, curing was complete and the laterals re-opened.

This enormous and complicated job was performed without disruption to the hotel’s staff or patrons, completely in accordance with the strict specifications, and to the entire satisfaction of the owners.