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Concrete pour starts construction for Langford post-secondary campus

Cement uses carbon trapping to cut relative emissions
Six hundred metres of concrete were poured Wednesday (Feb. 1). (Bailey Moreton/News Staff)

Construction work has begun on the post-secondary campus in Langford, with the first concrete pour happening Wednesday (Feb. 1).

The cement uses carbon trapping and other reprocessed materials to significantly cut down on carbon emissions relative to provincial (33 per cent lower) and national averages (53 per cent lower), according to Travis Butler, president of Butler Concrete & Aggregate, a Greater Victoria company that supplied the cement.

The concrete is made up of several composite materials and is also injected with carbon in the form of dry ice. Butler says when the cement and dry ice mix, they bond together, in effect trapping the carbon.

While work has been going on since last fall on clearing the site for the post-secondary campus near the intersection of Goldstream Avenue and Peatt Road, the concrete pour marks the start of construction proper.

Susan Gee, vice-president of communications and advancement at Royal Roads University, said the concrete is part of a series of measures to make the building zero carbon.

The project was first announced back in August 2022, with council approving the build the next month.

The campus is set to be jointly occupied by Royal Roads University, the University of Victoria, Camosun College and the Justice Institute of BC.

The project is funded by the provincial government ($77.8 million for the construction of the building) and Royal Roads ($18.5 million for the land purchase plus $500,000 for capital costs).

Other capital contributions include $1 million from UVic and $200,000 from Camosun College. Langford previously announced it would be contributing $26 million towards amenity improvements, $1.5 million over 10 years to support an innovation studio and $375,000 to a scholarship fund for Langford residents.

Both Mitzi Dean, MLA for Esquimalt-Metchosin and Minister of Children and Family Development, and Langford Mayor Scott Goodmanson touted the collaboration, with Goodmanson saying the campus would be able to welcome a wide-range of students.

“Because the space is just so … convertible and accessible to all the different groups using it, it’s really efficient. There’s no wasted space in the classrooms sitting empty for hours at a time.”

Work will continue throughout Wednesday – with over 600 metres of concrete being poured.

“You have to keep it paced because concrete is a perishable product so you’ve only got an hour until that concrete goes bad. You have got to effectively make sure that one truck is empty as the next truck is pulling in.”

There are more concrete pour layers to be completed down the line as work on the building continues, but Wednesday is by far the biggest, added Butler.

READ MORE: $125-million collaborative post-secondary campus coming to Langford

READ MORE: Langford post-secondary campus gets green light from council


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Langford Mayor Scott Goodmanson said the building would allow for a wide variety of students to study in town. (Bailey Moreton/News Staff)