Valcartier Defence Research and Development Centre undergoes a renewal

Rendering of the new $144‑million complex for Defence Research and Development Canada in Valcartier, Quebec.
Rendering of the new $144‑million complex for Defence Research and Development Canada in Valcartier, Quebec.

The Department of National Defence's science and technology community will be able to count on a new research and development pavilion complex as early as 2024: a state‑of‑the‑art LEED infrastructure.

Located in Valcartier, this complex of more than 31,000 square metres will house 80 laboratories, as well as modern office and storage space. This $144‑million complex will replace existing infrastructure that is at the end of its useful life.

DCC Team Leaders, Construction Services Simon Flamand and Philippe Bérubé are supporting DND on overseeing each phase of this major project, which has come to fruition after ten years of hard work.

Bérubé explains, "this research complex is a prototype that is unique in the world, and its construction meets the same complexity factors as that of a hospital," citing the many specialized laboratories.

Ultimately, the Valcartier Research and Development Centre will become the largest of DRDC's seven centres in Canada. Before the new DRDC facility reaches its full potential, the DCC team will have to resolve a number of challenges.

Construction of the new DRDC complex in Valcartier, Quebec. On August 31, 2020, DCC awarded the contract for Phase 1 of the renewed research infrastructure.
Construction of the new DRDC complex in Valcartier, Quebec. On August 31, 2020, DCC awarded the contract for Phase 1 of the renewed research infrastructure.

Indeed, the site's contamination with an industrial solvent will require a treatment plant for the discharges. In addition, the DCC team had to call on the expertise of fireworks experts during the excavation, because old ammunition was found on the site. This takes careful planning, due to the complex moving logistics and a global pandemic that brings its own set of restrictions and risks disrupting the schedule.

The first phase of the project is currently on track for delivery in 2024. The second phase, which includes the construction and renovation of some of the buildings, is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2024, with the third phase—involving the demolition of 45 additional buildings—scheduled to begin in 2027.


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