A/C, Age Cause Red House Roof to Collapse

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By Prior Beharry

THE age of the northern chamber of the Red House ceiling and condensation caused by the air conditioning led to part of it collapsing on November 5.

The House of Representatives had to sit in the south Chamber of the Senate when the MPs met on Friday.


A release from the Urban Development Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (UDeCOTT) on Friday stated that it was notified on November 5, 2022, that materials were dislodged from the South East section of the North Chamber Ceiling at the Red House.

It stated that in the northern Chamber there was the restoration of the original ceiling.

The issue was raised in the Lower House on Friday by Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal who asked during question time what was the time frame for repairs to be done.


Responding, Minister of Housing Camillie Robison-Regis, who is also the Leader of Government Business, said UDeCOTT was dealing with the issue.

Moonilal asked, “Do you think it’s acceptable today we had to move from one venue to the other to facilitate  House of Representatives sitting? Do you have any time frame within which the required work can be done and completed so MPs will no longer be asked to ‘squat’ in the Senate Chamber?”

Click here to see slide show when the Red House was reopened on January 24, 2020

Robinson-Regis replied that the United National Congress (UNC) Government had them squatting for much longer.

She said, “Given that for ten years we were ‘squatting’ in Tower C (of the International Waterfront) cause of the fact that for five of those years, hundreds of millions of dollars were spent by those on the other side, initially to fix a roof that they gave a contractor, who wasn’t a roofing contractor.”

Robinson-Regis said the Opposition should be grateful that repairs to the Red House have been completed and that there was a chamber that could be used while the northern chamber was under repairs.

There was tumultuous desk thumping and Moonilal said that Robinson-Regis could not answer the question as his colleagues shouted “shoddy work.”

The Oropouche MP asked, “Are you aware for seven years you have undertaken to fix a facility boasting of $441 million yet even the chamber we are sitting in, we see mould and we may have to go to a community centre and be charged a fee.

“When will the work begin and end, that’s all we want to know.”

Robinson-Regis said there were hundreds of community centres that were opened and that was an option if they needed it.


The UDeCOTT release stated that restoration contractor, Fides Ltd undertook an assessment of the ceiling and based on the initial findings, the dislodging of the material was due to a combination of the age of the ceiling and condensation caused by the air conditioning system, located in the attic of that Chamber.”

It stated, “The process to repair and reinforce the air condition and ducting system in the Attic of the North Chamber is underway and further analysis is being conducted by the MEP (Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing) Design Consultant, ENCO.

“Out of an abundance of caution and in the interest of all stakeholders, a decision was taken to close access to the North Chamber, to complete the remedial works, prior to the reconvening of Sittings in the Chamber.

“The North Chamber will be ready for occupation by Members of the House in short order.”


Days after the Red House was reopened on January 24, 2022, a leaking roof causes flooding in Rotunda.

Click below for related stories:

Slide show of Red House opening on January 24, 2020

Rowley Defends Restoration of Red House

Reopening of Red House: List of Traffic Restrictions

19 photos from Red House Reopening

$185 Million Paid in Red House Restoration

Red House Roof Leaks

Broken Rubber Seal Causes Roof Leak

A day in history: January 24


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