Green and sustainable infrastructure

We are committed to providing the best preservation conditions for our collection while ensuring that our facilities are energy-efficient, resilient and sustainable.

Reducing Library and Archives Canada’s footprint

The construction of the new preservation facility and the enhancements that will be made to the existing Preservation Centre vaults are consistent with our ongoing plans to reduce our overall collection storage space footprint and to optimize space utilization in facilities. This will enable the safe storage of our treasured and delicate Canadian documentary heritage collection and ensure that it will remain safe and protected for 500 years.

In 2011, our real property portfolio consisted of 237,000 square metres (m2) of space within 22 facilities. By 2024, we will have consolidated our collection into 124,000 m2 of space in six special-purpose facilities, achieving close to a 50% reduction of our storage space footprint.

Supporting the Greening Government Strategy

  • Through this project, we are dedicated to supporting the Greening Government Strategy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It will be the first Government of Canada facility constructed to the net zero carbon standard.
  • Meeting the net zero carbon standard is achievable as a result of adopting an innovative design, integrating geothermics, and having electricity supplied by the electricity grid in Quebec, which is widely considered to be 99.5% "clean."
  • It will be the first net zero carbon archival centre in the Americas.

Net zero carbon

This new facility is being constructed to be a net zero carbon building. According to the Greening Government Strategy, a net zero carbon building is one in which energy consumption is reduced to a minimum through building design strategies and efficiency measures to the point where it would be practical in the future to use non-carbon-based fuel sources to meet its energy needs. Embodied carbon in construction materials is also minimized.

Energy efficiency

Energy use within the facility will be minimized through efficiencies in the building envelope, the lighting, and the mechanical design. Preference will also be given to the use of green products and consumables (that will meet LAC’s collection preservation requirements) for the operation and maintenance of both facilities.

Protecting the local environment

Drought-tolerant native species will be integrated into landscaping to limit the need for irrigation and reduce outdoor water use.

As well, we are working closely with Environment and Climate Change Canada to ensure that impacts on any species at risk are limited.

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