section header EN  

2020 RPIC Real Property National Workshop
(Virtual Edition)
One GC: The Art of Integration

Concurrent Presentations

Stream 2A - The Art of Forward-Looking Policies and Programs: Predicting the Future

  • November 25 from 1:00 pm - 1:45 pm EST / 10:00 am - 10:45 am PST - Changing How We Do Business: Three Important Changes to Federal Real Property Policy
  • November 25 from 2:15 pm - 3:00 pm EST / 11:15 am - 12:00 pm PST - Adapting and Implementing a Corporate Real Estate Model at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada
  • November 25 from 3:30 pm - 4:15 pm EST / 12:30 pm - 1:15 pm PST - Advancing Universal Accessibility and Inclusion in the Parliamentary Precinct
  • November 26 from 12:45 pm - 1:30 pm EST / 9:45 am - 10:30 am PST - Hacking the Commencement of a Public-Private Partnership

Stream 2B - The Art of Building Technology and Infrastructure Sustainability: Making Our Portfolio Smarter

  • November 26 from 2:00 pm - 2:45 pm EST / 11:00 am - 11:45 am PST - Heritage Conservation, Energy Efficiency and Health & Wellbeing – Can They All Co-Exist?


Changing How We Do Business: Three Important Changes to Federal Real Property Policy
Todd Sandrock and Stephanie Clavel
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

The objective of the presentation is to highlight significant areas of change in proposed real property policy revisions that will affect custodians.


As the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) seeks Treasury Board approval for its finalized reset Policy on the Planning and Management of Investments, new and revised instruments in materiel management, procurement and real property will join project management and investment planning policy introduced in 2019. How we seek to manage federal real property will change in many areas. This session intends to focus on three of the most significant: portfolio strategy, real property divestiture, and leveraging real property administered by the Crown to advance the interests of Indigenous groups. These revisions were informed by extensive consultations with custodians and other stakeholders, learnings from the TBS Horizontal Fixed Asset Review, and a genuine and humbling engagement with Indigenous rightsholders and representative organizations. We will examine these three areas, highlighting changes, new requirements, and new flexibilities available to custodians. This session is part of an education strategy that, should ministers approve the new instruments, will lead to practice notes, training, written guidance and other advice. TBS is looking for the assistance of corporate real estate experts in our community in the creation and refinement of these products.

Todd Sandrock, BES, March, MBA, Director, Real Property Policy, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
Todd Sandrock was trained in architecture and spent the first twenty years of his career at Nortel Networks, where he was responsible for design; project management; planning; transactions; comptrollership; mergers, acquisitions and divestitures; audit; and, supplier management, in a global corporate real estate context. Todd joined Global Affairs Canada in 2008 and spent nearly a decade there in portfolio management; business case development; transactions; investment planning; and, change management for Canada’s diplomatic portfolio abroad. Todd is currently responsible for federal real property policy and corporate real estate management practices at the Treasury Board Secretariat.

Stephanie Clavel, A/Senior Analyst, Treasury Board Secretariat


Adapting and Implementing a Corporate Real Estate Model at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Bill Varvaris1, Alastair Lawrie1, Katharine Cornfield2
1Fisheries and Oceans Canada
2Change Group Ltd. 

The objective of this presentation is to provide a high-level overview of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s journey towards maturity as a real property custodian, with special emphasis on the ongoing effort to strengthen strategic portfolio coordination, modernize management, and implement a corporate real estate model adapted to the department’s unique operating context.


The Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) has custodial accountability for a diverse portfolio of special purpose assets valued at more than $6B. As a result of early transformation efforts and a strong business case to Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS), DFO received a major investment in real property in 2017. Not only did this funding enable the department to address critical integrity issues in its portfolio, but also provided DFO with an opportunity to address long standing organizational challenges concurrently.

Since then, DFO’s Real Property and Environmental Management (RPEM) Directorate has made considerable progress in modernizing its management practice; adapting and implementing corporate real estate model to DFO’s unique context; and, moving towards maturity as a custodial department. While far from complete, this transformational change has enhanced DFO’s strategic capacity, improved decision-making, and generated measurable results in its portfolio management.

That said, many of the systemic challenges identified through the important work undertaken in the Fixed Asset Review (FAR) parallel the DFO experience, including critical factors such as governance, financial management and workforce considerations. As such, DFO is a strong proponent of a sustained effort to strengthen real property portfolio management government-wide and can offer the benefit of its experience. In keeping with the direction set through the FAR, this forward-looking presentation will provide an overview of critical high-level steps in DFO’s transformation process, identify key organizational development considerations, and share valuable lessons learned to date.

Bill Varvaris, Director General, Real Property and Environmental Management, Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Bill Varvaris is Director General for Real Property and Environmental Management at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, overseeing the management of a diverse real property portfolio valued at over $6B. Bill began his career as policy advisor to the Minister of Natural Resources Canada eventually reaching the post of Chief of Staff to the Minister of Industry. In 2006, Bill moved into the federal civil service starting with the Real Property Branch (RPB) at Public Works and Government Services Canada. He served in several roles across the Strategic Planning, Administration and Renewal (SPAR), and Portfolio Management sectors, as well as Real Property Project Director at the Canadian Embassy in New Delhi, India. Bill has been a Member of the Board for the National Executive Forum for Public Property since 2017 and for the Real Property Institute of Canada since 2019.

Alastair Lawrie, Senior Director, Portfolio Strategy, Environmental Management, Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Alastair Lawrie is Senior Director of Portfolio Strategy at the Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Alastair oversees the development and implementation of portfolio planning activities, the progress and implementation of CRE at DFO, management of an annual operating budget of $115M, and acts as the central government agency liaison for real property matters. An urban planner by profession, Alastair has advised municipal governments in the United States and Canada regarding all aspects of land use, environmental and transportation planning including expert advice related to urban development proposals. Alastair is a graduate of McGill and Dalhousie Universities, attaining a Master of Urban Planning degree.

Katharine Cornfield, Owner and President, Change Group Ltd.
A trusted advisor to both emerging and established leaders, Katharine Cornfield is owner and President of Change Group Ltd., a boutique management consultancy focused on strategic-level organizational development, integrated workforce/financial planning, and change leadership. Drawing on a multidisciplinary background incorporating public policymaking, organizational development, and real estate, Katharine partners with forward-looking executive teams to align people behind purpose, shift culture, and improve organizational performance. A committed champion for gender equality, Katharine also delivers specialized career and leadership development training to aspiring women leaders seeking to advance into high impact decision-making roles.


Advancing Universal Accessibility and Inclusion in the Parliamentary Precinct
Sandrine Thibault1 and Marnie Peters2
1Public Services and Procurement Canada
2Accessibility Simplified

The objective of this presentation is to share how Public Services and Procurement Canada is working with the Parliamentary partners and various stakeholders from the accessibility community, internal operations and project delivery teams to advance universal accessibility and inclusion in the Parliamentary Precinct.


The Government of Canada is committed to becoming the most inclusive public service in the world by setting and meeting high standards of accessibility in its policies, programs and services to all Canadians. As the home of Canada’s Parliament and the place where Canadians and global visitors gather, the Parliamentary Precinct is a symbol for the country and the world. As steward for these historic properties, Public Services and Procurement Canada is working to make the Parliamentary Precinct a leader in Universal Accessibility: a place where all people are welcome, and where everyone can safely enjoy all of the facilities and services provided in a dignified, equitable, and inclusive way. This presentation will review the Branch’s collaborative approach in developing strategies for advancing universal accessibility and inclusion as well as present work to date on the Universal Accessibility Action Plan for the Parliamentary Precinct, working in partnership with key organizations representing the accessibility community across the country. This plan will set strategies for (1) better integration of accessibility within the design process and day-to-day operations; and, (2) ongoing monitoring and reporting of universal accessibility enhancements.

Sandrine Thibault, Program Manager, Science and Parliamentary Infrastructure Branch, Public Services and Procurement Canada
Sandrine Thibault recently joined the Campus Planning Division of the Science and Parliamentary Infrastructure Branch of Public Services and Procurement Canada where she manages the Universal Accessibility file. Before joining the Canadian government, Sandrine worked 18 years in the U.S. in various capacities. Most recently, she was Director of Comprehensive Planning and Municipal Services for Town Planning & Urban Design Collaborative (TPUDC), an urban design, planning and form-based coding firm. Prior to joining TPUDC, she spent fourteen years working at all levels of government, most recently as Comprehensive Planner with the City of Burlington, Vermont, for eight years.

Marnie Peters, President, Accessibility Simplified
Marnie Peters has 20+ years of experience as a consultant offering comprehensive services related to accessibility and universal design. Marnie’s understanding of accessibility enables her to evaluate all environments from the perspective of how persons with the full range of human conditions, use and interact with buildings and associated public realm environments. Marnie provides accessibility consulting services to design professionals, project managers and others, working with institutional or commercial clients and developers to ensure the implementation of accessible designs. Marnie competed and won gold at the 2000 Paralympic Games in Sydney, Australia and the 2002 World Championships in Kitakyushu, Japan.


Hacking the Commencement of a Public-Private Partnership
Scott Hamilton and Nathalie Ethier
Library and Archives Canada

The objective is this presentation is to share lessons learned from how the Gatineau 2 Project used forward-thinking strategies for the commencement of a P3 contract.


It's no secret that Public-Private Partnerships are long, complex projects requiring strong oversight, teamwork and a stringent review of seemingly never-ending analyses. This presentation will share lessons learned intended to be applied to any complex real property project by introspectively leveraging the Public-Private Partnership model to highlight key steps taken before, during and after the transition that ensured proper integration, accountability, and ultimately, a smooth transition to start a new 33-year partnership.

Scott Hamilton, Director General, Real Property, Library and Archives Canada and President, International Facilities Management Association Ottawa Chapter
In his day job, Scott Hamilton is responsible for three major real property projects which will transform Library and Archives Canada (LAC): the $330M Gatineau 2 Project to construct a new state-of-the-art archival preservation facility; the $193M federal-municipal partnership project to construct a new LAC-Ottawa Public Library Joint Facility; and, a Real Property Master Planning Project to address LAC real property portfolio issues, risks and requirements for the next 30 years. In his spare time, Scott is leading IFMA Ottawa Chapter’s efforts to expand awareness and appreciation of the critical work of facility management professionals.

Nathalie Ethier, Project Director, Gatineau 2, Library and Archives Canada
Nathalie has a Master's degree in Public Administration from l'École nationale d'administration publique. Over the past 25 years in the public sector, she has gained extensive experience in the fields of project management, strategic planning, performance management, accountability and Public-Private Partnerships.

As the Gatineau 2 Project Director, she has led the planning and now focuses on the implementation and construction of a new state-of-the-art facility in Gatineau, Québec. The archival facility will be the world's largest equipped with an automated storage and retrieval system and the first constructed exceeding the Net Zero Carbon Ready Requirement of the Federal Greening Government Strategy. She is dedicated to delivering a new facility that will provide optimal environmental conditions for long-term storage of Canada’s treasures, while ensuring an efficient and safe environment for LAC employees.

Nathalie’s strong leadership and hands-on working style promote an innovative, collaborative and engaging work environment. Always thinking forward, she generously shares her knowledge and expertise to foster the development of the next generation of infrastructure leaders.


Heritage Conservation, Energy Efficiency and Health & Wellbeing – Can They All Co-Exist?
Afaf Azzouz, Stantec Consulting Ltd.

The objective of this presentation is to showcase environmental, financial appeal and value of retrofitting existing heritage buildings; present challenges associated with upgrading heritage buildings; discuss six case studies for existing federal buildings where high-performance designs and carbon neutrality were achieved using diverse design solutions; and, recommend feasible low-carbon solutions that do not interfere with heritage-defining characteristics of the building.


Energy efficiency and sustainability standards have focused their efforts on new construction. Only in recent years, several policies came to light, acknowledging how the existing building stock contributes largely and negatively to the environmental footprint and/or health and wellness of its occupants.

Existing federal buildings are now being actively sought to be upgraded and follow the Federal Government’s policies (e.g., GHG Methodology – Options Analysis). Heritage buildings, in particular, have a significant community value, and are built to last for centuries. Our changing sustainability requirements have created a need for heritage buildings to address their environmental footprint and be upgraded to respond to the latest health standards.

Heritage conservation can thus co-exist “symbiotically” with energy efficiency and improved building operations. A business case can be made for upgrading heritage buildings, because simply demolishing them or leaving their systems to deteriorate is not a sustainable approach. In addition, the amount of lifecycle energy/carbon (operational + embodied) that goes into a new more energy-efficient building may be higher when compared to upgrading an existing energy-inefficient building.

How do we provide meaningful upgrades to heritage buildings without losing their heritage character? First, it is important to study the heritage-defining characteristics of a building to understand what elements need to be preserved.

The presenters will showcase six case studies, where sustainability and heritage conservation were achieved. They will also focus on crucial building systems and site implications that need to be tackled:

Envelope: The first step to upgrading a building is to address its envelope. The exterior envelope, which is often poorly insulated and is the direct cause of energy inefficiency, happens to also be the main heritage-defining element. Oftentimes, adding a small layer of insulation (50 – 100mm) can eliminate major issues associated with poor building performance and operations. Hygrothermal analyses must be performed to avoid the deterioration or condensation within the heritage walls. In addition, other solutions involve adding transparent thermal buffers around the building or enclosing courtyards to reduce the external exposed surface and building heat loss without impacting the heritage character.

Mechanical and Electrical Systems: For heritage buildings it is best to limit design upgrades within mechanical rooms where heritage elements are not directly impacted. If those upgrades alone are insufficient, HVAC/electrical upgrades will need to prioritize re-using existing building cavities/shafts to avoid penetrating valuable internal architectural elements. While this may limit the choice of mechanical/electrical systems, valuable solutions can, nonetheless, be provided. Finally, asbestos remediation may be crucial during the upgrade to ensure the building’s safe occupancy beyond the retrofit.

Site: Heritage buildings are typically located in areas with dense urban character, where there is limited site area and excessive subgrade utilities. These limit the integration of geo-fields or the addition of renewables. To overcome these challenges, it is feasible to use the roof for renewable infrastructure. Alternatively, one could consider a campus approach by connecting to nearby buildings and benefitting from generated energy, reclaimed, or rejected waste heat at the campus-level.

Afaf Azzouz, P.Eng., BEMP, M.Sc., LEED AP BD+C, Level I Thermographer, Building Performance Engineer, Stantec Consulting Ltd.
Afaf Azzouz is a Buildings Performance Engineer at Stantec. She is a Building Energy Modeling Professional, a published journal author and has a Masters’ degree in Sustainable Buildings. Afaf has an in-depth understanding of energy modeling, Net-Zero buildings, embodied carbon, and lifecycle costing assessments. Afaf won both the CaGBC’s Ontario and Canada-wide Emerging Green Leader Awards. Her key projects include nine Carbon Neutral Concept Designs for heritage and non-heritage buildings in Ottawa. Other projects include Evolv1, first building in Canada to be certified under the Zero Carbon Building Standard, and University of British Columbia Brock Commons, one of the tallest wood structures in Canada.


Questions en

fb icon   Twitter icon   linkedIn icon