DRDC Atlantic a complex build

Building an 8,700-m2 building in the middle of a full campus at the centre of a bustling community presented a logistics challenge for Defence Construction Canada (DCC) staff in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

Add to that the security requirements of Defence Research and Development Canada’s (DRDC) main building on their Atlantic campus and the DCC team faced truly unusual circumstances. “The challenge was to build a new building while the existing occupants could continue to work,” said Peter Sarty, Team Leader, Construction Services, in Halifax.

DRDC staff, responsible for Canada’s defence and security science and technology, has lab work and experiments that span over months and years which cannot be interrupted.

Their parking lot could be interrupted though. So, the project team made a plan to construct the new building on the footprint of the existing parking lot. Once complete, the occupants will be moved into the new facility, that’s expected to be in mid-2017. Demolition of the existing 1950s-era building will begin soon afterwards. In the meantime, employees park off-site.

Despite space restrictions, DCC and DRDC staff collaborated on changing requirements mid-build. And even with the added effort required to mitigate impact on the project’s neighbours, the project has continued to proceed well. Central to that success has been the hard work of DCC construction coordinators, Peter Zwicker and Darrell Ferguson, said Sarty. With their leadership, the project has managed to win over neighbours and is on track to meet LEED Silver standards.

“They’ve been a very dedicated team in maintaining progress,” said Sarty.

The full project will be complete in 2018.


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