Defence Construction Canada has helped the Canadian Forces Housing Agency (CFHA) break new ground for accommodation for military members and their families. For decades, single family dwellings known as Private Military Quarters (PMQ) were the standard for Canadian Armed Forces members. Bungalows, storey-and-a-half or two-storey homes comprised the PMQ lifestyle.

Now, thanks to two off-the-shelf, design-build contracts managed by DCC at CFB Shilo, Manitoba and 4 Wing Cold Lake, Alberta, CFHA has ushered in a new era, opening new, low-rise, multi-unit apartment complexes at both bases.

The Shilo project grew from contracting the design and construction of a single 18-unit complex to also include a second 12-unit building slated to be opened in May 2018.

To be involved with a major project like this from start to finish is quite exciting as you see the progress from excavation through the rough framing up to the final cleaning and move-in stage, says Travis May, DCC Coordinator, Construction Services in Shilo. It was great to see how all parties worked together to find feasible solutions to fit the conditions at hand.

The Cold Lake project also grew in scope from two to three six-unit complexes—the first low-rise apartment buildings for CFHA at that Air Force base. The buildings opened in August 2017.

CFHA was very pleased with the project and reviews from occupants so far have been very positive, says Mohammed Eljaji, DCC Team Leader, Construction Services in Cold Lake. The project was completed within very tight timeframes with many hurdles being overcome along the way.

CFHA is so pleased with the outcome that both base projects will now serve as a template for future low-rise apartments.

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