The ‘E’ Division of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) provides federal and provincial police services throughout British Columbia (BC), as well as local policing in all but 12 municipalities in the Province. Examples of the ‘E’ Division’s responsibilities include:
- Border Integrity and Drug Enforcement (federal role); and
- National Security Enforcement and Homicide Investigation (provincial role).
The need for a new headquarters for the ‘E’ Division was first identified more than 20 years before construction of the facility completed in December 2012. Described by the Canadian Ministry of Public Works and Government Services as a “Major Crown Initiative”, the project’s key aim was to consolidate into one facility various ‘E’ Division headquarters units that were located throughout the Metro Vancouver area on more than 20 spaces leased or owned by the Crown. The previous facilities, some of which dated from 1912, were for the most part neither purpose-built nor fit for purpose in terms of space, systems, technology and adjacencies.
The new headquarters site is 140,800 sqm and is located in the Green Timbers Urban Forest in the City of Surrey, BC. The land was acquired by the Federal Ministry of Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) in 2005 specifically to provide a central, integrated, purpose-built headquarters facility for ‘E’ Division.
The RCMP ‘E’ Division Headquarters Relocation Project was launched by PWGSC in 2008 and was the first Federal Design, Build, Finance, Maintain (DBFM) public-private partnership in Canada. The project goals were not to simply build a new facility – the ambition of PWGSC and the RCMP was to facilitate significant business change, including:
- improvement of the federal, provincial and municipal operations of the RCMP;
- improvement of operational efficiencies;
- enhancement of integrated and intelligence-based policing;
- improvement of responses to natural disasters;
- meeting current and anticipated future safety and security requirements;
- enabling better access to highways and major roadways;
- enabling greater collaboration between international, national, provincial and municipal partners;
- providing sustainable, purpose-based office accommodation for over 2,700 personnel; and
- accommodating future growth.
The new facility is 76,162 sqm in size and includes:
- a 72,000 sqm, seven-storey office building;
- post-disaster building; and
- high-bay garage/workshop.
The facility also meets LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Canada gold certification, incorporating the latest in green technology and standards for construction and facilities management. The layout of the facility and the site also accommodated numerous trees of significant natural heritage – an important goal of PWGSC and a requirement of the City of Surrey’s Development Permit.
Following financial close in 2010, the project won an Award of Merit for Innovation and Project Partnership from the Canadian Council of Public-Private Partnerships. An example of this partnering approach was the flexibility built into the contract which anticipated the possibility of a variation comprising the design, build, financing and maintenance of a new forensics laboratory for the RCMP. HICL, acting through its project company, Green Timbers Accommodation Partners, supported PWGSC with an evaluation of the variation.