CFB Halifax’s TEME building: on time and under budget

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The Transport Electrical Mechanical Engineering (TEME) building at CFB Halifax was completed both on time and under budget, setting the stage for additional base construction initiatives.

The successful construction of a new $71-million TEME building proved that a challenging military construction project can be completed both on time and under budget. The Halifax TEME building project, overseen by EllisDon, consolidates vehicle and equipment maintenance services in one 11 935 m2, two-storey building, and replaces nine largely obsolete locations. Construction began in June 2012, and the building was occupied, ahead of schedule, in April 2014.

Rock Duchesne, project manager at the Directorate of Construction Project Delivery (DCPD), noted that the use of the modified design-build process was instrumental in bringing this project in millions of dollars under budget.

Under the modified design-build process Assistant Deputy Minister (Infrastructure and Environment) ADM(IE) contracts the design and construction of a project to a single company. That company then completes the entire design prior to any construction taking place. The design is then reviewed by ADM(IE), and once project implementation is granted by the department construction begins. Because this process uses a single contractor for both the design and construction phases of a project, it saves DND time and subsequently, money. The Halifax TEME building project was expected to cost $96.8 million, but ended up costing roughly $71 million.

The cost savings were realized without affecting services or building quality. Originally designed to meet LEED Silver certification, the Halifax TEME building was recently granted LEED Gold certification – an exceptional achievement, considering the building’s environmentally challenging function and its location on a brownfield site.

“The building, which is half garage and half maintenance bay, is designed with a focus on environmental responsibility and energy savings,” said Mr. Duchesne. “Overall, the new building will save money in operating costs, both through lower heating costs and because the new single structure replaces nine older, energy inefficient buildings.”

And there is more positive news on real property for CFB Halifax. Just as the TEME project was completed, work started on a new junior ranks housing and training facility slated for completion this year. The project involves the construction of three new buildings. The first complex, of more than 21 000 m2, will include living quarters and dining, galley and mess halls. A second, smaller building will house a retail store, snack bar and financial services. The third building, to be completed after the first two, will be a modern seamanship training facility. The construction contract is expected to create 380 local jobs.

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