The Municipality of Argyle has announced the tender of their new net-zero energy administration building.
The tender has been listed on the Nova Scotia Tenders website in accordance with provincial legislation. The deadline for submission of bids is Aug. 15 at 3 p.m. Construction is planned to commence in the current fiscal year, with estimated completion in the fall of 2019.
Designed by Wild Salt Architecture, the project will be the first of its kind in Canada, the municipality says. Architect Graham Edgar notes that energy efficiency is only one of the building’s unique design features;
“The building design draws heavily on the culture and history of the district, which is exactly what residents asked for,” he said. “It’s not your typical institutional office building. It had to be welcoming and feel like home. The interior is designed to engage the community, including a gallery and exhibition space for displaying local artwork, a café station and a flexible grand hall that doubles as council chambers.”
The main driver of the project is accessibility, as the municipality’s current location is unable to serve all residents with ease and dignity.
The municipality will allocate federal gas tax funds and has applied for alternative funding sources, both federal and provincial, in support of the building’s net-zero energy component.
Argyle Warden Richard Donaldson has been encouraged by feedback from residents, saying, “We especially appreciate the public support for this project. We are committed to a long-term public engagement process and we were pleased that the majority came to the same conclusion as council did. The public was very clear: build it well, build-in renewable energy and accessibility, and make us proud.”
CAO Alain Muise speaks of the importance of employing the local workforce;
“During the planning stages we made clear that the design should make use of locally available materials and trades,” he said. “Talented local artisans will be engaged to craft the interior furnishings largely from reclaimed, high-quality timber from the former cotton mill in Yarmouth.”