Now well into their second century, the Canadian Royal Dragoons are Canada’s most senior armored regiment. A planned renovation and new construction that the Department of National Defense (DND) and their project manager Defence Construction Canada (DCC) are undertaking at Garrison Petawawa in Ontario will modernize the regiment’s operations and vehicle facilities. The project is the Government of Canada’s first construction project to use the integrated project delivery method.

It’s also part of a larger sustainability story: this and other green builds will help Defence Construction Canada reduce greenhouse gas emissions from buildings and nonmilitary vehicles by 40 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. These gains will support the new federal target to reduce emissions by 80 percent by 2050.

The contract to build the $70-million facilities marks the first time DCC, and the Government of Canada, are using the ground-breaking new Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) model, using the CCDC-30 contract developed by the Canadian Construction Documents Committee, a National Joint Committee that includes the Canadian Construction Association, the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies Canada, the Royal Architecture Institute of Canada, and Construction Specifications Canada.

IPD is a collaborative alliance of people, systems, structures and practices that harness the expertise of all parties to optimize results, increase value to the owner, reduce waste, and maximize efficiency through all phases of design and construction. The IPD contract model replaces traditional design and construction contracts with a single, multi-party contract, where all parties work collaboratively for the collective success, of the overall project; all profits remain at risk until the work is completed. The IPD also facilitates new and innovative processes such as Lean construction tools and techniques and Building Information Modelling (BIM).

 The current project is a platform to test a new integrated project delivery (IPD) model for construction work, the first use in Canada. This fresh approach creates an environment where real-time online collaboration between the client and contractor is the norm, and where all parties adopt a values-based decision-making process to look out for shared interests. The contract also allows for greater cost certainty while maintaining access to the design team and encouraging innovation from all team members.

The global coronavirus pandemic turned the spring of 2020 into a challenging time for the construction industry. The project was in the process of finalizing costs when Canada faced many restrictions due to COVID-19, including an industry-wide shut down in Quebec, a major producer of structural steel. In the spirit of the shared-risk philosophy embodied in the IPD contract, DCC and the project team assessed the risk of COVID-19 on the project and together created a contingency plan that minimizes risks to the budget and schedule. We worked with key trade contractor partners to reorganize activities and minimize setbacks. By joining forces and applying lean construction techniques, the project team found ways to reduce the budget by 10%. 

The Royal Canadian Dragoons have been active participants in the design and construction of their new facility and building information modeling makes virtual walk-throughs possible. Upon completion in 2022, the new facility will enhance the already notable efficiency and military readiness of the storied troop.

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