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Better Corporate Building Policy adopted for all RDCK work

Timothy Schafer Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
By Timothy Schafer Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
February 16th, 2022

Consider it the dawn of a new era in corporate building in the regional district.

From now on, all procurements, developments, maintenance and repair on all new and existing Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) buildings will need to adhere to the new Better Corporate Building Policy.

Passed into legislation late last month by the RDCK board of directors, the policy is expected to produce buildings that are more climate adaptive — buildings designed for increased longevity with the use of sustainable materials — with long term cost savings to taxpayers by creating a longer life cycle and reduced costs throughout that time.

“This policy embodies the RDCK’s commitment to high efficiency, low carbon building practices and can be used as an example for building within our communities,” noted a press release from the RDCK.

The policy will include the building envelope, mechanical systems and any substantial building systems.

It will also require continual communication between all levels of RDCK staff — project managers, asset managers and community sustainability teams — on how to make informed, evidence-based decisions.

“Project managers have stated that ideally there will be additional lead time available on capital projects to allow for the necessary planning to do the system thinking and analysis necessary for the efficiency gains,” read an RDCK staff report to the board.

Moving forward with the policy means the application of the precepts of the policy to all new building projects, as well as to all upgrades to existing building infrastructure which will yield long-term cost savings to taxpayers.

“When combined with the asset management planning, this policy will likely make RDCK capital projects both eligible and more attractive for a greater range of public funding opportunities,” read the RDCK staff report.

The policy will be applied to all regional district assets of all size and use — major renovations, upgrades and new builds, to minor system changes — with the flexibility to allow for projects of any size or budget “to work towards energy efficiency without compromising the ability to carry out projects.”

It outlines key principles, certifications and approaches used in high performance building to create decisions with a 100 per cent renewables commitment and provide financial and environmental benefits.

The new policy covers over 100 RDCK corporate assets throughout the region.

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