Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office

Roles and Responsibilities

Custodian Departments

Departments are responsible for managing the real property under their administration in accordance with their mandate and operational objectives, while preserving the heritage character of designated buildings - whether Classified or Recognized - throughout their lifecycle. This means that departments must incorporate heritage considerations into their real property management framework in order to ensure informed decision-making. Heritage considerations must also be factored into their accountability frameworks, decision-making structures and the systems used for performance reporting.

More specifically, in order to comply with the policy, departments must:

Have FHBRO evaluate buildings that are 40 years of age or older, and that are under their administration or that they wish to acquire, in order to determine their heritage character.1

The evaluation of a building's heritage character is essential to ensuring that its value is respected and preserved. Heritage character may be understood to be the combination of a building's heritage value and its character-defining elements, which are the features of the building that must be protected in order to preserve its value. In some instances, a building's value will be linked primarily to its history, whereas in other cases, it will relate to its architectural and environmental qualities. The purpose of an evaluation is to determine where the heritage value of federal buildings lies. It also makes it possible to determine whether a building should be designated as Classified or Recognized, or not designated.2

Respect and conserve the heritage character of federal buildings under their administration throughout their lifecyle.

Consult FHBRO before undertaking any intervention that could alter the heritage character of a classified federal building.

Obtain appropriate conservation advice before undertaking an intervention that could alter the heritage character of a recognized federal building.3

Preserving the heritage character of federal heritage buildings is of great importance, since these buildings provide tangible evidence of our history. For this reason, it is essential that custodian departments establish appropriate management practices and take into account the heritage character of federal heritage buildings when planning interventions.4

Consult FHBRO before demolishing, dismantling or selling a federal heritage building.5

The policy requires that best efforts be made to arrange for appropriate alternative uses of under-utilized or excess heritage buildings, first within the federal government and then outside the federal government.6

Footnotes

1 Treasury Board Policy on Management of Real Property, s. 6.1.9.

2 For more information about departmental obligations related to heritage evaluation, see the Evaluation section.

3 Treasury Board Policy on Management of Real Property, s. 6.1.9 and 6.1.10.

4 For further information about departmental obligations with respect to interventions to designated buildings, see the Intervention Review section.

5 Treasury Board Policy on Management of Real Property, s. 6.1.10.

6 For more information about departmental obligations with respect to disposals, see the Disposal section. Other advice is provided in the new Directive on the Sale or Transfer of Surplus Real Property, which may be found at www.tbs-sct.gc.ca.