British Columbia’s Largest Public-Private Partnership (P3) Project
Personnel of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) E Division Headquarters have a new home in British Columbia. Partnered with the Green Timbers Accommodation Partners, the Government of Canada undertook a massive infrastructure development project to construct a new facility for the RCMP that is more “central, integrated, purpose-built headquarters facility for E Division.”
“Previously, E Division Headquarters personnel are inefficiently housed in aging facilities at the Fairmont site at 37th Avenue and Heather Street in the City of Vancouver, and numerous other locations throughout Metro Vancouver,” says Government of Canada Media Relations spokesperson Deirdre Liebrandt-Johnson.
“The Fairmont facility was non-purpose built, significant overcrowded, poorly located operationally and reaching the end of its useful life,” Liebrandt-Johnson says.
The new facility, located in the City of Surrey, will house all E Division personnel under one roof, allowing the police force to better serve the community. Approximately 2700 RCMP personnel will be transferred to the new facility, which is also contributing to the development of Surrey’s downtown core. The new headquarters will be approximately 76 162 square-metres, which includes a seven-story office building, post-disaster building, high bay garage/workshop, and accommodation for 1 810 parking spaces.
The benefits of P3
The Government of Canada decided that such an ambitious and large-scale project would best be completed through a public-private partnership (P3) approach, meaning the government can fund the project within existing allocations with no additional resources required.
The P3, between the Government of Canada and Green Timbers Accommodation Partners (GTAP) has had many added benefits to the local community. Approximately 900 direct and indirect jobs were created during the design and construction period of the project.
“As the project moves towards the operational phase, GTAP, through their operational team, will generate another 180 direct and indirect jobs,” says Liebrandt-Johnson.
For the project, GTAP has agreed to a fixed price of $966 million to design, build and finance and maintain (DBFM) the new facility for a term ending 25 years after construction. The design and construction consisted of $263 million, while project financing and building maintenance took around $703 million. According the Liebrandt-Johnson, the project is on time, within budget and on scope.
There are a number of additional benefits of completing this project through a P3. Liebrandt-Johnson says it “leverages private sector capacity and innovation, provides incentives for the private partner to find efficiencies in facility design, construction and operation and allocates risk to the partner best positioned to manage it so that costs can be minimized.” Additionally, a performance-based contract ensures the facility is managed and service standards are met throughout the life of the Agreement.
GTAP is comprised of a number of companies, which includes Bouygues Building Canada, Bird Construction and ETDE Facility Management Canada and main sponsor Infrared Capital Partners. Nick Joosten, CEO of GTAP, says the partners work together and each company brings their own expertise to the project.
In terms of green initiatives, this new facility truly goes above and beyond.
The project was designed and constructed with a number of environment concerns in mind. Liebrandt-Johnson mentions that the facility will “meet LEED Gold certification, incorporating the latest green technology and standards for construction and facility management.”
In addition to LEED Gold certification, a green roof was installed on the building, electric car charging stations are included in the garage, and there is a system that reuses water for irrigation.
A unified workforce
Once working out of 25 different locations from all over Metro Vancouver, the E Division personnel will now have a single headquarters to call home. Strategically located in Surrey, the new facility allows for better access to highways and major roadways, which will further improve support operations, such as responses to natural disasters in the area.
A new consolidated workplace will also save money and eliminate certain expenditures. The various sites incurred travel time costs and upgrading and operational costs for outdated buildings.
Joosten says the investment in this innovative infrastructure is what makes all the difference.
He also adds the project is a great model for future partnerships and P3s. The new RCMP facility is a much-needed addition to the community. In addition to the environmental endeavors and benefits to the local economy and community, the project has garnered national attention: it was the recipient of the Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships Award of Merit for Innovation and Project Partnership in 2010. The two-year long project was completed in late December 2012.