Ottawa Library facility gets net-zero carbon funding

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Significant enhancements to achieve net-zero carbon are being made to the joint Ottawa Public Library (OPL)–Library and Archives Canada (LAC) facility, which will soon take shape in downtown Ottawa.

The project is receiving $34.5-million from the federal government in order to help the joint facility achieve its net-zero carbon goals.

“There is great value in modern and greener cultural spaces such as the one we are building in the heart of our capital. Not only will this building showcase our collective history and heritage, it will also point the way to a more sustainable future where clean growth is the rule,” said The Hon. Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage.

Designed by Diamond Schmitt, in association with KWC Architects, the joint facility’s design draws from Ottawa’s rich history and natural beauty with a dynamic form reminiscent of the nearby Ottawa River; the stone and wood exterior reflect the adjacent escarpment and surrounding greenspace on the western edge of downtown. The windows, top floors and rooftop offer unparalleled views of the Ottawa River and Gatineau Hills in Quebec.

Prior to these changes, the building’s design already complied with the LEED Gold standard, an independent certification that takes into account ecological land and water use, energy efficiency, and sustainable materials. Funding from the federal government will allow for:

  • upgrades to the building’s envelope and insulation;
  • triple-glazed windows;
  • solar panels on the rooftop and embedded in the facade;
  • additional sustainable materials; and
  • an indoor green wall.

These investments in a net-zero carbon facility will result in a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas intensity. This represents the equivalent of approximately 170 fewer metric tons of CO2 produced per year, or taking 37 passenger vehicles off the road.

Construction of the OPL-LAC joint facility is set to begin in 2021, with its completion scheduled for late 2024.

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