COWICHAN VALLEY – The Federal Government recently announced an $11.5-million investment through the Green Municipal Fund (GMF) for the construction of a net-zero energy ready (NZER) RCMP detachment facility in the Municipality of North Cowichan. This includes a $10 million low interest loan and a $1.5 million grant.
The integrated hub will better serve a growing urban population of about 50,000 residents across North Cowichan, Duncan, Cowichan Tribes and the surrounding rural areas. The new, 50,000-square-foot building will bring together the North Cowichan/Duncan Detachment, Forensic Identification Services, South Island Traffic Services and Indigenous Policing.
GMF previously supported the construction of a NZER RCMP detachment in Fort St. John in northern BC. The current project is modeled on that design but has been optimized for North Cowichan’s unique climate and usage needs. It will also incorporate energy efficiency in every aspect of the building design. Optimized features of the building include structure and site orientation improvements; high-efficiency equipment; rooftop solar photovoltaic panels; solar shading to reduce cooling demand by 45 per cent; and daylight sensors to reduce annual lighting operations by 25 per cent.
“When I think of the new RCMP building, efficiency stands out. Modeling this detachment after Fort St. John’s new building created efficiencies in planning and design. Bringing together the various policing services across the region into this one facility will allow for more efficient policing in our community, and with this funding announcement, the ability to construct a highly energy efficient building is significant. As we grow and replace infrastructure, leaving a legacy of sustainability is crucial to our future and the generations to come,” said Mayor Al Siebring of the Municipality of North Cowichan.
The GMF, administered by the FCM, is funded through an endowment by the Government of Canada. GMF helps local governments switch to sustainable practices more quickly. Its unique mix of funding, resources and training gives municipalities the tools they need to build resiliency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.