City Plans Two-Stage Library Procurement


This is a release from the City of Ottawa:

The City of Ottawa is preparing to start the two-phase procurement process for the professional design services for the new Ottawa Central Library.

The Notice of Planned Procurement, now posted on Merx, provides interested parties ample time to assemble teams, partnerships and resources to compete – which starts with the request for qualification (RFQ) in the second quarter of 2017.

The evaluation and a call for request for proposals (RFP) to the short list of qualifiers will follow in the third quarter, with the successful team being selected by the end of 2017. In their proposals, the design service providers will not submit actual designs for the building.

Resident feedback will play an important role in 2018, when the Ottawa Public Library and the successful architectural design team will actively engage the public on the design.  As a result, submissions will be evaluated, as part of the procurement process, on the quality and strength of their proposed public consultation process.

The ideal design team will have a proven track record in architectural design excellence with a library or archives project of a similar size, scope and complexity, or with possible relevant experience in other buildings of national, provincial, institutional or civic importance – including cultural institutions, performing arts centres or museums.

In addition, the ideal team should also have the ability and capacity to deliver the following services:

  • Demonstrated experience with public engagement and the ability to manage and conduct public consultations;
  • Expertise in architectural design and landscape architecture, as well as mechanical, electrical, structural and civil engineering;
  • A proven strategy for implementing an Integrated Design Process;
  • Expertise in sustainable building practices and LEED® v4 certification;
  • Ability to work in both of Canada’s two official languages; and,
  • Licences and Certificates of Practice in Architecture and Engineering in the Province of Ontario.

The $168-million Ottawa Central Library facility (excluding the parking garage) is recommended to be built in collaboration with Library and Archives Canada, pending funding and City Council and Government of Canada approval.



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4 thoughts on “City Plans Two-Stage Library Procurement

  1. I still have a bet with one of your readers about parking spots at the new library. I wonder how big that parking garage, mentioned in the release, is going to be?

    Chaz :)

    1. They’re on thin ice with the parking garage since the site is so close to the LRT and they’ve been banging the drum of less driving and more transit-riding. If they install a large parking facility in their own building, they’ll have a hard time persuading other builders to push their tenants/owners onto the train. On the other hand, they’re flogging this as a Central Library to serve the whole city and so will have to provide some parking. It will be a balancing act – something they’re notoriously bad at!

  2. Do I understand correctly that there will only be one design put forward? Usually design competitions are around having four or five firms put forward a design and one of those ideas getting picked. It looks like the ‘competition’ part will only be to meet technical qualifications. I’d rather know they will produce a visionary design that that they can work in both official languages.
    If we don’t like the one design that comes forward, the process will be so advanced that we’ll be left with only the possibility of tweaking a lousy design.


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