This project involved the design and construction of one of the largest municipal police facilities and the largest RCMP Detachment in Alberta, meeting both municipal and RCMP standards. The building was constructed by the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo and contains space for rural and municipal policing RMs, community policing, traffic units, GIS, victim services, by-law enforcement, support staff functions and a full forensic identification section. SK ACI coordinated input from multiple stakeholders, including the municipality, RCMP K- Division, and the Ft. McMurray Detachment.
The consultation process included space programming, scope identification, and site selection. The detachment houses a total of 169 members and 71 employees with the ability to expand to 200 members and 80 employees. The design had to allow for internal re-organization without major demolition or disruption to operations therefore second floor shell space was included. Additional flexibility was achieved through the use of, modular furnishings and demountable partitions rather than fixed wall construction, and below-floor service distribution for cabling, ventilation and power. Secure areas such as Exhibit, Filing and Forensic Identification Section are all “hard” construction for security and fire protection reasons.
Limited availability of land in Fort McMurray created a significant challenge to the design team in identifying an appropriate site which met all the RCMP, municipal and physical criteria. This was a year long process and resulted in the decision to separate the main administration functions from the cell block due to the need for a downtown location for the cells and a larger site area for the main detachment. Additional challenges were, the rate of growth of the city and the effects of this on RCMP staffing, along with the local hyper-inflated economy generated by the energy sector unique to this area. Inflationary effects on this project and others in the province were significant with only two bids being submitted on the project.
The building contains various state-of-the-art features to provide a superior working environment for the occupants. Natural daylight, displacement ventilation, 95% efficiency boilers, a solar wall and high performance thermal envelope all contribute to this building achieving a 57% improvement over the model national energy code.