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National Centre for Indigenous Law

The National Centre for Indigenous Law at the University of Victoria will be the first in the world to offer a joint degree in Indigenous legal orders and Canadian common law.

When complete, the 29,000 sq. ft. mass timber building will include public lecture theatres, faculty offices, classrooms, meeting spaces, a creation space, a sky classroom, a 150-seat lecture hall, an Elder’s room, and large gathering spaces with ventilation designed to accommodate smudging ceremonies. The expansion will be built as a separate structure with a seismic gap to mitigate impacts on the original occupied Fraser Law Building and meet safety standards.

The project is targeting to be LEED Gold Certified, using the best practices for environmental stewardship and will be 100 per cent powered by electricity. This includes using mass timber and prefabricated construction materials as a carbon sink, sequestering carbon throughout the building's life cycle. The NCIL will also incorporate a stormwater management system and solar energy considerations.

Khowutzun Development Corporation (KDC) is a 100 per cent Indigenous owned business and is partnering with the team to complete civil construction and excavation work. KDC has strong relationships with smaller Indigenous contractors and vendors in the Cowichan Valley. Through this partnership they are helping include Indigenous partners throughout different scopes of the project. To date, 19 per cent of our project budget has been spent with KDC, circulating money back into the surrounding Indigenous communities and creating a social impact. 

In the interest of maximum sustainability, the new project will be 100% powered by electricity with a new electric boiler and air source heat pump system. Heating and Cooling (traditionally the highest energy usage components of a building) will be provided in the NCIL building through underground HVAC piping as well as radiant heating and cooling within the concrete slabs.

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