Ontario Construction Report staff writer
Quebec-based construction firm Pomerleau has won its second major contract in the National Capital Region in the last two months – a new $42-million Parks Canada’s artifact collection facility in Gatineau.
Construction is expected to get underway shortly, with crews scheduled to complete the project by 2023.
According to a federal government news release, the 88,000-square-foot storage facility will be specially designed to allow for the “protection and conservation of the collection under optimal storage and environmental conditions.”
“This new purpose-built facility, located in the city of Gatineau, will provide the necessary storage and environmental conditions for these important pieces of Canada’s shared history, said Steven MacKinnon, Gatineau MP and parliamentary secretary to the minister of public services and procurement.
“The new facility will serve as a model building, by adopting sustainable and energy-efficient green building standards and will achieve zero carbon emissions through the use of renewable energy.”
Currently, about 60 per cent of the collection under Parks Canada’s care is at risk from inappropriate environmental storage conditions and security measures. The new facility will have optimal environmental conditions, ensuring safe protection and conservation of the collection. The collection will be cared for by a team of collection specialists, curators and conservators and will be systematically stored, and easily retrievable.
The facility’s environmental footprint will be minimized through green building practices such as:
- Adopting sustainable and energy-efficient green building standards, such as employing the use of recyclable materials, conserving water use, and workspaces with daylight.
- Achieving a net zero carbon footprint by solely using renewable energy (hydroelectricity) to power its operations.
- Adopting energy-efficient practices with the goal of reducing energy use to 30 percent less than the target stipulated in the National Energy code for buildings (NECB), resulting in significant energy cost savings.
- Using native species in exterior landscaping and dry ponds to retain excess water from storms.
“It is a privilege to construct a culturally significant piece of infrastructure that will help preserve Canada’s rich and storied history,” said Patrick Hebert, regional VP, Ottawa, Pomerleau.
“As a company that has strong and deep Canadian roots, we are proud to work with Parks Canada and our partners to deliver a facility that will reflect the environmental and security demands for preserving our cultural heritage.”
PSPC and Parks Canada worked collaboratively on the procurement process for the design and construction contracts. PSPC is managing the project on behalf of Parks Canada and will be responsible for overseeing the construction of the building.
Throughout this process, Parks Canada has collaborated with partners and all interested parties, including Indigenous communities, regarding access, care, and management of this important collection.