Pomerleau to build new $34.3 million British High Commission building in Ottawa to LEED Gold standard

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

Pomerleau Inc. has been awarded the contract to begin work on the new British High Commission Building in Ottawa. The new building is set to be the greenest in the UK diplomatic network, the UK High Commissioner to Canada said in a statement last Tuesday.

The new building design will reach environmental gold standards – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) – including locally sourced recycled construction material, solar heating and a 40 per cent reduction in water consumption.

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A high commission spokesperson told Ontario Construction News that the project has an estimated £20 million ($33.34 million in Canadian dollars) construction cost, and “we are aiming for completion in 2022.”

It will be built within the Earnscliffe National Historic Site, the current residence of the High Commissioner, and will replace the existing building at 80 Elgin St.

“We are proud and excited that our new High Commission will be the greenest building in the UK diplomatic network, setting gold standards across the world,”Susan le Jeune d’Allegeershecque, UK High Commissioner to Canada, said in a statement “It will also be cheaper and more efficient to run and maintain in the long term and we look forward to welcoming our Canadian friends when we reopen”.

The UK government says Pomerleau’s design will incorporate state of the art environmentally friendly features including;

  • locally sourced recycled construction material
  • a 40% reduction in water consumption compared to other office buildings of a similar size
  • passive solar designs that would use state of the art technology to control heat gain while maximizing occupant views and access to daylight
  • vehicle charging stations
  • environmentally friendly construction process that would see 75 per cent of total construction waste diverted from landfill and sent to recycling facilities to be reused/repurposed

The current High Commission on  Elgin Street was built 60 years ago. Major infrastructure and ongoing maintenance costs have meant it is no longer economically feasible to maintain.

The location of the new British High Commission at the Earnscliffe National Historic Site will be designed to aesthetically complement the current residence, the statement says.


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