Part of the floor of Iqaluit's new $18 million RCMP detachment building is settling downwards into the permafrost, says a government spokesperson.

Less than eight months after the Iqaluit RCMP moved into their new home in May 2010, the building started to have problems with its foundation.


Parts of the new Iqaluit RCMP detachment building's foundation are sinking into the permafrost due to a faulty thermosyphon system. (Daniel MacIsaac/CBC)

In an email, a spokesperson from Public Works and Government Services Canada said the permafrost under the building melted because portions of the thermosyphon system failed.

The thermosyphon system is a series of pipes that run under the concrete floor to move heat away from the frozen soil, allowing the building to be built directly on the ground instead of on piles.

The construction contract was awarded to Iqaluit's Almiq Contracting in 2007. RCMP haven't paid Almiq in full because of the ongoing problems with the building.

Public Works and the Mounties are trying to figure out a long term solution for the sinking floor.

It is not clear why the thermosyphon loop failed and the cost of any repairs has yet to be determined.

Staff Sgt. Monte Lecomte said any structural issues with the building haven't affected operations.

"My sole responsibility is to ensure citizens of Iqaluit are getting good policing day to day and I can assure citizens that is the case."