New carbon neutral facility being built at Defence Animal Training Regiment in Leicestershire 220421 CREDIT BRITISH ARMY
Army

Military Dogs And Handlers To Get New State-Of-The-Art Training Facility

The carbon-neutral building will feature a rainwater recycling system and a facility to generate its own electricity.

New carbon neutral facility being built at Defence Animal Training Regiment in Leicestershire 220421 CREDIT BRITISH ARMY

Work has begun on a state-of-the-art carbon-neutral training facility for military dogs and their handlers.

The new building at the Defence Animal Training Regiment (DATR) in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, should be finished by October and will be 96% self-sustaining.

It will be used by the Canine Training Squadron which is home to about 200 working dogs and employs 50 Army personnel and 20 RAF Police personnel, plus a team of civilians. 

The new facility will replace the portable buildings currently housing the squadron's HQ staff and the 1940s timber-framed buildings that are used for training military working dogs and their handlers.

Green features of the building will include sustainable insulation in the walls and roof, 'air-lock' doors that will prevent heat from escaping and six solar panels.

A battery storage facility will also generate the building's own electricity needs.

Military Canine Training new facility being built at Defence Animal Training Regiment in Leicestershire 220421 CREDIT BRITISH ARMY
There are about 200 working dogs in the Canine Training Squadron (Picture: British Army).

A heat recovery system in the plant room and network room will be used to heat the offices and training facilities, while a rainwater recycling system will collect, save and reuse water in a bid to reduce the use of the mains water supply by up to 60%.

Rainwater will also be used for cleaning soldiers' boots and bike racks will be built to encourage people to cycle to work.

Commanding Officer of the DATR, Lieutenant Colonel Martyn Thompson, said: "The planning, design and sustainability of this project will generate much-needed efficiencies in our training delivery.

"This will ensure that the DATR continues to provide defence with a proven capability which helps to protect our people, territories, values and interests at home and overseas."

Military Canines Training Defence Animal Training Regiment in Leicestershire 220421 CREDIT BRITISH ARMY
Military dogs and handlers training at the Defence Animal Training Regiment (Picture: British Army).

The new ecological and cost-saving facility will help achieve the Army's commitment to meet net carbon emissions by 2050, the service said.

It comes after the Ministry of Defence (MOD) published a report detailing the dangers of climate change to defence.

The report author Lieutenant General Richard Nugee, MOD Climate Change and Sustainability Lead, said: "Climate change is just as much a threat to global security as more conventional threats."

The internal construction of the building means that once its use is over in its current capability, it can be re-purposed for another use without the need for rebuilding, the Army added.

Cover image: Location of new carbon neutral facility at DATR in Leicestershire (Picture: British Army).