Canadian Consulting Engineer

Library and Archives Canada’s reveals design for net-zero preservation centre

June 19, 2019

The new preservation centre will be the first "net-zero carbon" facility dedicated to archival preservation in the Americas.


Library and Archives Canada reveals design of its net zero carbon facility dedicated to archival preservation.

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) and the Plenary Properties Gatineau (PPG) consortium, which is responsible for constructing a second preservation centre in Gatineau, Quebec, revealed the design of the building that will be located directly behind the current Preservation Centre.

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.


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 will begin in 2019, with the opening expected in 2022.

Construction of the new preservation facility, optimization of the current Preservation Centre vaults, and project funding will cost approximately $330 million. This amount does not include the operating and maintenance costs of the two facilities over 30 years.


Alternate rendering of the new preservation centre.


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