Plenary Properties Gatineau (PPG) has recently closed a 33-year public-private partnership contract with Library and Archives Canada (LAC) to design, build, finance, maintain, and operate a new preservation facility to be constructed adjacent to the existing Preservation Centre in Gatineau, Quebec.

The consortium consists of:

  • B+H Architects
  • Plenary Group (Canada) Ltd.
  • PCL Constructors Eastern Inc.
  • PCL Investments Inc.
  • ENGIE Services Inc.

The new preservation centre will be the first net-zero carbon facility dedicated to archival preservation in the Americas, and the first federal building constructed to the requirements of Canada’s Greening Government Strategy. The main features of a net-zero carbon building are:

  • minimal carbon emissions from energy consumption, achieved through building design and efficiency measures;
  • energy needs met through carbon-free fuel sources; and
  • minimal embodied carbon in building materials.

It will also be the world’s largest preservation facility equipped with a high-tech automated archive storage and retrieval system. This means that our precious national collections will be kept under optimal preservation conditions.

“This new, state-of-the-art preservation facility in the National Capital Region will help Canada remain a leader in the preservation and promotion of our invaluable documentary heritage,” said Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism. “Our government is confident that this preservation centre will solidify Library and Archives Canada’s place at the forefront of preservation throughout the world, for the benefit of present and future generations.”

The PPG proposal was selected for this public-private partnership because it meets all of the required technical criteria and can be implemented at the best possible cost to taxpayers. The consortium will:

  • design, build and finance the new building;
  • optimize storage space in the current Preservation Centre; and
  • operate and maintain both facilities.
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The ultra-modern facility will increase LAC’s capacity to store Canadian archives and resolve the critical shortage of space expected in the very near future.

Construction of the new preservation facility, optimization of the current Preservation Centre vaults, and project funding will cost approximately $330 million. The overall contract, including the operating and maintenance costs of the two facilities over 30 years, is valued at $580 million after taxes.

Construction will begin in 2019 and lead to the creation of hundreds of new jobs, with the opening expected in 2022.


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