New 91 CEF building at 9 Wing Gander built for efficiency

The new 91 Construction Engineering Flight (CEF) building at 9 Wing Gander is poised to serve the training, construction and storage needs of the Canadian Armed Forces and the Royal Canadian Air Force at 91 CEF, while also showcasing newer, greener, cost-saving technologies.

The new $6.6 million, 1,300-m2 construction engineering building is a one-storey headquarters for 91 CEF containing administrative, training, workshop and warehouse areas. The reserve-heavy construction engineering unit at 9 Wing Gander performs construction projects for both 9 Wing Gander and for the community.

Unlike its 50-year-old predecessor, this new, state-of-the-art building contains many LEED-type green technologies that will make the building healthier to work in, more energy efficient and less expensive to operate.

The new 91 Construction Engineering Flight (CEF) building at 9 Wing Gander serves the training, construction and storage needs of the CAF and the RCAF at 9 Wing Gander. The $6.6 million, 1,300-m2 state-of-the-art building is a one-storey building that contains many LEED-type green technologies.

The new 91 Construction Engineering Flight (CEF) building at 9 Wing Gander serves the training, construction and storage needs of the CAF and the RCAF at 9 Wing Gander. The $6.6 million, 1,300-m2 state-of-the-art building is a one-storey building that contains many LEED-type green technologies.

For example, the mechanical system in the new building is a geothermal unit that functions much like a ground-source heat pump. The groundbreaking heating and cooling system relies upon 10 wells, each measuring 152 metres deep, and almost a kilometre of piping that runs in and out of the wells and up to the mechanical room. The room itself has an array of equipment, not the least of which comprises four 10-tonne heat pumps.

Geothermal heating and cooling alone is considered to be the cleanest source of electricity and heat on earth and produces fewer emissions than any other energy source.

Also included in the new building is a 4’ x 80’ solar wall that is part of the geothermal system. The solar panel wall collects and pre-heats the air coming into the building. Other elements of the mechanical components include dust-collection, air exchange, paint room exhaust, an oil separator for the wash bay, heat-recovery and occupant sensors that turn on and off depending on traffic inside the rooms.

“If we were to use an oil or burner system in the new 91 CEF building the cost would be significantly higher than operating the geothermal system we have in there now,” says Paul Leavitt, DCC Coordinator, Construction Services at 9 Wing Gander. “The initial costs are higher but the savings in the long run are definitely there.”

Leavitt managed all phases of the construction project at 9 Wing and worked hand-in-hand with the contractors, Wing personnel and 1 Canadian Air Division.

“The project overall went according to the design and everybody worked well together," says Leavitt. "We had excellent communication right off the bat. Open communication and collaboration with all the stakeholders and the contractor definitely assisted in the success of the project.”


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