The new 5th Canadian Rangers Patrol Group Headquarters Building at 9 Wing Gander will not only provide the Department of National Defence (DND) with a state-of-the-art workspace for 74 people, it will also help the Client-Partner reduce its heating and cooling costs, and its greenhouse gas emissions.

The building will have a geothermal heating-cooling system. “It’s much more energy efficient than conventional systems,” says Paul Leavitt, DCC Coordinator, Construction Services, in Gander. By reducing electricity use substantially and eliminating the need for heating oil, geothermal will also minimize the new building’s greenhouse-gas emissions.

For the geothermal system, six wells will be drilled 500 feet into the ground below the building. In summer, a heat exchanger will draw in hot air from the building. That heat will be transferred to water, which will be piped through the cooler ground below the building. After the water cools, it will be piped back to the surface and into the heat exchanger to repeat the cycle and cool the building.

In winter, when the temperature underground is warmer than the air above ground, the process will be reversed. Water will be pumped underground, warmed, and then returned to heat the building.

This isn’t the first structure at 9 Wing Gander to use geothermal technology. The 91 Construction Engineering Building, completed in 2015, features a similar system. Leavitt notes that the energy costs for that building are roughly 80% lower than the previous structure that accommodated 91 Construction Engineer Flight. He expects the savings for the new headquarters building to be similar.

The $5.1-million, 998-m2 facility will have office space, conference rooms, heated storage space and shared common areas.

The construction project, which began in May 2023, is due to be completed in October 2024.

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