Thinking (and Acting) ‘Green’
Some say it takes 10,000 pieces to build an average house and double that in decisions. Imagine what is required when rebuilding the Mossom Creek Hatchery. This first class educational laboratory is located in a sensitive and vital riparian area. Construction Manager Pat Dennett and the hatchery’s management team are determined to stay true to concepts that have been taught at the hatchery since its beginnings – Make environmental sustainability a key guideline in every decision.
Right from the start, Pat worked with the construction partners to make it happen. As a first step, 97% of the debris from the burned building was recycled. The site’s new design actually reduces its original footprint. The new building is an exact fit to the original, plus it incorporates fish tanks and equipment storage that were previously located outside the building.
Yet, it’s the project details where the ‘green’ decisions are most evident; for instance, the concrete. LaFarge Canada has been a key partner in supporting the rebuild. When pouring the concrete, they trucked in their own rinse water and collected it afterwards. They used a different proportion of fly ash vs. cement in their concrete mix to reduce by-product gases released in manufacturing cement. They have offered a Hydromedia product for the walkways. It is a permeable concrete that allows water to trickle through it.
One of the unique decisions Pat Dennett faced involves salmon and magnetism. There were concerns that building materials might impact the hatchlings’ magnetic navigation ability. Harris Rebar responded with a stainless steel rebar product, which has significantly reduced magnetic fields as compared to standard rebar.
The building’s construction incorporates two other key elements: fire safety and maximum energy conservation. Since the site has no city water, installing a sprinkler system would have been prohibitively expensive. The team’s approach has been to build a ‘non-combustible’ building. The ground floor (salmon hatchery) is a concrete envelope, containing all equipment for raising the coho and chum from eggs to fingerlings. The second story is a more traditional ‘housing’ style, but is constructed to maximize energy efficiency. The wall structure provides exceptional insulation (R-16) by placing a non-conductive barrier between the framing and the exterior metal siding. The windows are triple glazed, argon gas, e-coated, again for maximum insulation. This building will be warm, with minimal internal heating required.
A fish on the roof..? The hatchery’s roof is literally a ‘green’ roof. Architek Engineered Solutions really stepped up to the challenge as did Soprema (a key supplier) and Phoenix Structural Engineering. The roof is made of layers: Q deck on top of glue laminate beams, a densdeck base, 2 ply torch on roofing, drainage mat, insulation, a second drainage mat, and then earth. The team is now brainstorming ideas for planting it in such a way that a big fish (composed of contrasting plants) will be visible from space! A side benefit of the ‘green’ roof – rainwater slowly drains off the roof, reducing runoff impact to Mossom Creek.
Results: The rebuilt hatchery is a beautiful, highly functional building. It contains a first-rate fish raising habitat and expanded space for educational opportunities. Come see what ‘thinking green’ looks like, first hand!
TriCity News Coverage
We’ve been tremendously lucky to have the support of our local community newspaper, The TriCity News. For a detailed background on the hatchery and progress since the fire, we encourage you to check out the feature articles that appeared in news in March: