A rendering of the new band office at Cumberland House Cree Nation. (Courtesy Cumberland House Cree Nation)

Cumberland House Cree Nation on Friday marked the start of construction of its new 15,458 square foot high-performance and energy efficient band office.

“Our Council has worked hard for the past 10 months to settle the fire claim with our insurance and today, we are happy to be able to start to rebuild using this settlement,” Cumberland House Cree Nation Chief Rene Chaboyer said in a news release.

The previous band office had been destroyed in a fire on Dec. 2, 2019 and the Chief and Council had vowed to rebuild as soon as possible, the release said.

The new office building will house the band’s financial services, administrative chambers and daycare facilities. Its construction is slated to take five months.

“We have developed a strong and innovative business plan for this new construction and we are committed to providing our community with a new energy efficient facility quickly. We have engaged Saskatoon’s 3twenty Modular to deliver what will be one of the most high-performance commercial buildings in northern Saskatchewan,” band manager Marcia Seeseequasis said in the release.

“And we’re proud to be able to rebuild within months of the devastating fire, relying solely on our own finances, thanks to the insurance claim settlement.”

The two-storey building requires little energy for heating. The mechanical system integrates a state-of-the-art ventilation system, an efficient wood-pellet furnace and air source heat pump.

“We are thrilled to be working with Cumberland House’s innovative and progressive Chief and Council to design and build a band office that will serve as an icon for sustainable construction in the north,” said Bryan McCrea, Co-founder of 3twenty Modular.