B+H’s first net-zero carbon preservation storage facility for Canada

Screenshot of Gatineau 2 from BH

(Above, left) An image of Library and Archives of Canada Preservation Storage Facility next to the pre-existing Preservation Centre (right) of the Library and Archives Canada.

The Library and Archives of Canada (LAC) Preservation Storage Facility project was completed in June 2022 and started operating in December 2022. It is a highly significant project by B+H, a member of the Surbana Jurong Group, whose scope of services included Architecture, Interior Design, Planning & Landscape. The LAC project includes the design, construction, financing, facility maintenance, and lifecycle of a new archival facility, located next to the existing Preservation Centre of LAC.

The LAC Preservation Storage Facility is the first net-zero carbon archival preservation facility in the Americas, the first special purpose federal facility built to meet the requirements of Canada’s Greening Government Strategy and also the largest automated archival facility in the world. It also just achieved LEED Gold Certification, reinforcing the reputation of LAC as a leader in the global documentary heritage community.

B+H designed the sleek, cube-like preservation storage facility to provide about 8.5 Olympic swimming pools of collection storage capacity in two highly controlled environments across six vaults (see visual above). Each vault has its automated storage and retrieval system, comprising a lift and a crane, which can retrieve and return archival containers safely in a secure manner.

B+H also ensured that the vaults – containing paper, microfilm and motion picture recordings – are located well above programme spaces and staff areas on the ground floor, with further safeguards against water damage by a “buffer zone” surrounding the concrete vaults in the interior on all sides, as well as with roof drainage that removes rainwater away from the vault ceilings.

Watch the video here on how the Preservation Storage Facility works

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