Library and Archives Canada seeks P3 partner for new Gatineau facility

New building would be designed to stand for centuries
LAC
Library and Archives Canada (Photo by shankar s. / Flickr)

With Canada 150 celebrations out of the way, the government is looking ahead with at least one institution they hope will still be standing at the country’s 650th birthday.

Future Canadians might be teleporting documents to a proposed expanded archive facility, or bringing them over in flying cars, because the new building Library and Archives Canada is hoping to construct is meant to remain in place for 500 years.

LAC issued a notice Monday asking for companies to submit letters of interest in the project. The federal government is looking for a private partner to design, build, finance, operate and maintain a new 128,300-square-foot LEED facility in Gatineau.

The company would get a contract to run the facility for 30 years, but would not be involved in preserving or storing the documents.

Serge Corbeil, director general of real property for LAC, said the facility is designed to keep a history of government decisions and programs for centuries to come.

“It’s for preservation of government records. We are building that facility for long-term preservation, so the horizon is 500 years,” he said.

LAC’s existing facility has 48 vaults, which store records, manuscripts, photographs and the country’s portrait collection

Corbeil said the new facility will be smaller but more densely packed, because it will focus on storing government records likely with an automated storage system.

Corbeil said the existing facility was built with similar “multi-generational” design in mind, with lots of durable materials like concrete and stainless steel.

“The standards for construction are quite different. The materials we use are for long-term preservation.”

He said that, after they receive responses from companies, they plan to work through potential bidder with an aim to have the new facility complete by 2021.

The federal government said it expects to issue a request for qualifications this fall, followed by a full request for proposals by spring 2018.

This article originally appeared in Metro News.