In achieving LEED Silver certification, the Department of National Defence’s Gagetown Training Quarters Accommodations in Oromocto, N.B. is both the first Canadian defence force training and accommodations facility and the first residential facility in New Brunswick to receive LEED certification.
Gagetown is a 135,302-sq.-ft. residential facility for military personnel. The 247-bed building provides training lodgings and satisfies the need for additional training capacity at CFB Gagetown. This project is part of an overall departmental program to modernize Canadian Forces accommodations across the country.
“The Department of National Defence should be proud of the investment it made in creating a facility that is not only healthy for the environment, but for the men and women who serve this country,” says Stephen Carpenter, president of Enermodal Engineering, the project’s LEED consultant. ADI Cannon Design served as the architect on this project.
Located on 2.5 hectares, the Gagetown site has been restored to native conditions providing continuous natural habitat to many local species of wildlife. In addition, over 13 mature trees were saved and relocated along the front of the building.
Given the proximity of CFB Gagetown to the Atlantic Ocean, the DND wanted to make an extra effort to minimize water use while also ensuring local water supplies were not polluted during building construction or operation. Therefore, four 300L cisterns were installed to collect rainwater from the building’s roof to operate dual-flush toilets – reducing the overall need for potable water. Overall the Gagetown facility is predicted to use 40 per cent of the water of a traditional building.
A concentrated effort on the part of the design team allowed Gagetown to achieve predicted energy savings of 34 per cent with highly efficient mechanical equipment and an air-tight building envelope to reduce heat loss. An energy efficient condensing boiler heats water, while an energy recovery unit was installed on two air make-up units to recycle the heat expelled from the building.
The design team used innovative strategies to decrease the amount of material – and increase the quality of that material – used in the building. Nearly $800,000 of recycled material (including steel, gypsum board, plastic laminates, plywood, and glass) was used to construct Gagetown TQA. Impressively, a quarter of the building materials, like concrete, asphalt, and crushed rock, are from regional sources. During construction, 66 per cent of waste was diverted from the landfill to be recycled or reused elsewhere.
Operable windows and controls in occupied areas allow residents to control their own lighting and temperature. In the end, over 95 per cent of regularly occupied spaces are natural daylit, which increases occupant comfort as well as decreasing the need for lighting power.
As people are their key resource at CFB Gagetown, the DND wanted to ensure the best possible air quality. This includes installing highly effective MERV 13 filters in the two make up air units and recessed floor grilles at the main entrances. In addition, a mud room, consisting of a walk-through/waiting area, a wash area and a drying area is located at the field entrance. When a building occupant returns from field exercises, he/she enters the building through this entrance, to clean their boots and clothes. This room prevents dirt and debris from being carried throughout the building. Furthermore, it significantly reduces the amount of dirt on the occupants clothing which means that less dirt is carried to the occupant’s room and laundry room.
Besides the culture of service to country, the DND wanted to establish its culture of stewardship to the environment. This ranges from providing opportunities for occupants to green their lifestyle to creating a healthy living space. Storage and changerooms are provided to bicycle riders to encourage alternative forms of transportation. A comprehensive carpooling plan is available to all military personnel and civilian employees on the entire CFB Gagetown site. It has been set up on the Defense Information Network where everyone can post or reply to trips on the message board. Recycling facilities are installed throughout the facility to encourage occupants to decrease the amount of waste generated on a day-to-day basis. A green housekeeping program specifies that only environmentally-friendly cleaning supplies be used throughout the building.