$80 Million For New Home For Royal Canadian Dragoons

Big news at Garrison Petawawa:  Canada's oldest armoured military regiment is getting a brand new home.

The federal government announced $80.6 million on Tuesday for a brand new headquarters for the Royal Canadian Dragoons.

The project will see a new 9,900 square metre facility to replace 8 aging buildings, and renovations to 3 others.

All of it will be located near the Dragoons' training space along the Mattawa Plains, centralizing their operations.

Pontiac Liberal MP William Amos made the announcement on behalf of the defence minister and says it’s an important investment.

"It's truly an honour", Amos told reporters inside one of the older RCD buildings on Tuesday morning.

"It reflects the fact that the Royal Canadian Dragoons are a huge piece of Canadian history, that is continuing to be made day after day, and we want to be part of the success of the future, by financing an infrastructure project that's really worthy of the contributions they've made both past and present.

The Royal Canadian Dragoons were founded in 1883, though their roots extend farther back in time than their founding date.

The Dragoons have been involved in some of Canada’s highest-profile military missions recently, including deployments in Afghanistan, Poland, Latvia and Mali.

Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Rob Marois says it’s a major boost for the soldiers, and everyone in the regiment.

"We're absolutely thrilled to be able to bring all of our soldiers, and all of our armoured vehicles, which is really a core of what we do in the armoured corps, together into one building", Marois told reporters on Tuesday morning.

"It's our home.  It's not a place we show up, on a 9 to 5 basis, just to show up and do work.  This is the home of the Royal Canadian Dragoons, the regiment -- the members that serve here and the members that have served here, and that continue to come back every year not only to acknowledge the operational capability of our soldiers, but also the history and the heritage of our long and historical regiment", Marois added.

The project will generate about 225 jobs during construction, which is expected to start in the spring of 2020 and be finished sometime in 2021.   

Clean And Green

It will also incorporate green infrastcuture and clean technology.

The government says it will meed Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver standards, and save an estimated $4.6 million in operations and maintenance costs over 40 years.

And, it adds, that this and other green projects will help National Defence reduce its greenhouse gas emissions from buildings and other non-military vehicles by 40 per cent by 2030 (from 2005 levels), on the way to a targeted reduction of 80 per cent by 2050.

It's also considered a pilot project because it’s the first time the government, the military and the builders met regularly through an "integrated project team" throughout the planning process, to try to do it more quickly and efficiently.

Known as the Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) model, the method was referred to by officials at the announcement as "one of the most transformative and newest contracting models in the construction industry today", noting that under IPD, "all parties work together to stay on time and on budget, collaborating to manage the contract", with decisions by consensus that lead to both "shared risks and shared rewards".