In January 2021, Brantford City Council approved the redevelopment and expansion of the existing Brantford Police Services Headquarters at 348 Elgin Street, at an estimated budget of $39 million – a reduced budget of $18 million compared with an initial estimate of $57 million for the project in 2020.
At their meeting held December 19th, 2022 members of the Police Station Task Force received a report from City staff detailing the project status and the impacts from current inflation and supply issues that will impact the original cost estimate. For example, approximately $5.6 million has had to be added to the budget to account for current construction cost inflation rates.
Growth allowance required to meet demands of rapidly growing city
Brantford has been designated as an urban growth centre in the provincial growth plan and the City’s Official Plan estimates the city’s population will nearly double over the next several decades. The current Police Headquarters building occupancy load has reached its maximum capacity. To accommodate for current capacity needs, expected future growth, and the demand to respond to increasingly complex crimes, a third floor has been added to the redevelopment plan that will also provide crucial capacity for emergency response and recovery planning. The addition of the third floor will provide future growth space capacity adding for longer-term use of the building.
Net Zero Carbon Building Design
Since the original concept plan and estimate was developed, Brantford City Council declared a Climate Emergency and directed that a net zero carbon building design should be employed in all future City facility builds. Consistent with the City’s Corporate Energy Management Plan (CCAP) and in order to meet the City’s CCAP goals and realize cost efficiencies over the life of the building, the facility will be equipped with green, high efficiency elements throughout.
Added to the original redevelopment plan is the new approved direction to design the building with a highly energy efficient HVAC system to reduce energy consumption resulting in long-term savings and energy recovery. All new exterior LED lighting will be installed with photocells which operate the lights based on natural lighting levels and a grid-tied solar system in the form of photovoltaic (PV) panels will be placed on the site and can be monitored through a bi-directional utility meter to keep track of the electricity the solar systems are transferring to the grid.
Funding Source and Additional Efficiencies
The addition of the third floor, furniture requirements, market conditions, construction cost increases due to inflation, design and permit fees and initial investments to implement a Net Zero Carbon Design have resulted in a budget increase of $17,750,351. It is important to note that the budget for the reconstruction project will be fully funded by development charges, not ratepayers. Staff also identified additional efficiencies that will be shared with the Estimates Committee during the 2023 City Budget Process in January 2023.
Staff confirmed that the project is in the early stages of “value engineering” – a systematic, organized approach to providing necessary functions at the lowest cost that will be constantly assessed and implemented throughout the duration of the project. Given the vital services that Brantford Police Services provide, it is imperative that BPS is provided the necessary tools, space and environment to protect the health and safety of citizens and visitors and best serve our community.