Swimming With Sharks In Florida
Florida-based aquarium suppliers, Dynasty Marine Associates have learned that building better doesn't always come with a higher price tag.
When Dynasty Marine began planning an expansion of their tropical marine habitat, their director, Forrest Young knew that concrete was the way to go. With over 30 years of fish-collecting and aquarium keeping under his belt, the leader of Team Dynasty understood that concrete would be tough enough to withstand the daily rigours of marine husbandry but price, ultimately, had to be considered.
Concrete tanks, while longer lasting than their fibreglass counterparts, often come with extra considerations and expenses such as liners, sealants and formwork. It was only after a conversation with Steve Ehrenpreis at Octaform, that Mr. Young saw that he could build better and still stay within his budget."We wanted concrete tanks but did not think the cost would fit into our budget," said Young.
"Steve helped us determine the costs for concrete tanks with the Octaform forming system and we found that they were very affordable,“ continued Young.
With Octaform, Steve explained, they could eliminate many of the costs associated with conventional construction.
Octaform is a stay-in-place concrete forming system that assembles quickly without specialized labor or heavy equipment. Extruded from food-grade, potable water safe PVC, it forms and protects concrete in one step.
This built-in, easy-to-clean, PVC membrane not only protects the fish; it protects the tank walls. Octaform snaps together to form a watertight barrier between the tank and the concrete protecting it from moisture and other corrosive elements.
While Octaform had never been specified as a tropical habitat before, the team at Dynasty were able to look at recirculating aquaculture systems across the globe that used the system. From Saudi Arabia to Japan, Norway and the United States, Octaform tanks are used to grow everything from salmon to barramundi in some of the most simple and some of the most complex aquaculture systems in the world.
With Steve's help, Dynasty Marine saw that Octaform was not just better than the fibreglass alternative, it fit the budget.
Using Octaform Finished Concrete Forms, Team Dynasty formed and protected two round, 10 ft high, insulated tanks joined by one straight, shared wall. The tanks, painted aquamarine blue, are now the centerpiece of newly opened, Aquarium Encounters in the Florida Keys.
Aquarium Encounters offers a truly immersive experience for its vistors who are invited to actually get in the tanks with the marine creatures and be a part of the action in the thriving ecosystem that exists in the aquarium environment.
Visitors get up close with tropical fish, sting-rays and (as seen in the video below) they can even feed the sharks.
Dynasty Marine Associates, Inc. supply sustainably caught tropical fish to public aquariums, research institutions and pet stores worldwide. They are a USDA supervised facility and are active members in the Association of Zoos and Aquarium (AZA), the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), the European Union of Aquarium Curators (EUAC), and the Animal Transportation Association (ATA). They dedicate 15% of their annual operating budget to the active conservation of marine resources.
Octaform is a PVC, stay-in-place concrete forming system that is ideal for the construction of high performance structures like vehicle washes, barns or commercial buildings. Because the built-in finish is watertight and food-safe, it is also ideal for tank construction. Whether it is for aquaculture, biogas or even manure containment, Octaform is a superior yet economical choice.
Last week, we showed you a great example of how customers are using Quick Liner to protect and beautify the walls and ceiling of their car washes. This week, we received a few shots of another tunnel; this one is a little different.
Sparkle Express Car Wash in Greenwood, South Carolina wanted to line their new wash with Quick Liner but they had one little request. For the ceiling, instead of the usual white, owner Lee Richardson requested black panels. We regularly ship panels in white, grey, tan and custom colors but black was actually a new one for us.
As you can see, they look great!
Richardson was "extremely happy" with the panels and service and passed on these photos:
Quick Liner Wall & Ceiling Panels instantly transform dark and dingy walls into a bright, clean and welcoming environment for your customers. Click below to see how Quick Liner can protect your facility from the heat, moisture and chemicals of a modern car wash.
Check out these shots of a
recently completed wash tunnel in BC.
Ventana Construction just completed construction on a beautiful new Mazda dealership in BC. The showroom, as to be expected, is stunning.
Ventana's attention to detail, however, extended back into the shop as well. It is here that they used Octaform Quick Liner to line and protect the walls of the wash tunnel.
Here are a few photos...
Moisture, heat and chemicals all work to clean your vehicle but they can do a number on your walls.
Quick Liner interlocks to create a barrier between your structure and the elements that would harm it.
It goes up quickly and with our new Snap-Trim System, your crew can finish in a fraction of the time required by conventional trim.
Octaform's PVC panels are food safe and can be used in barns, food processing facilities, or just about anywhere that requires a bright, clean environment.
Quick Liner comes in up to 18" widths and because it is extruded from virgin PVC, its chemical resistance properties are well documented.
If you have any questions about Quick Liner, give us a call at 1-888-786-6282.
Or better yet, get a quote here:
Harvest Power is a leader in the North American organics-to-energy industry.
Kathleen Ligocki to lead as new CEO;
Paul Sellew to shift to Founder, Executive Chair of Board
WALTHAM, Mass - Harvest Power, a North American developer of organics-to-energy plants and compost production facilities, will have a new CEO as of January 13.
Kathleen Ligocki, an operating partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (early investors in Harvest Power), will take over for founding CEO, Paul Sellew. The founder will remain with the company, shifting to Executive Chair of the Board.
Kathleen Ligocki takes the helm next week.
This announcement, said Sellew, comes at an important juncture for Harvest Power. “The directors and I determined that we need to invest in and increase the leadership capacity of the organization so that we can successfully navigate the next phase of our growth plan,” said Sellew, “Kathleen Ligocki brings the right combination of bold strategic insight, broad operational expertise across a number of industry sectors and financial acumen that will propel Harvest to the next level.”
Harvest Power, according to Ligocki, is already poised for some significant growth, “In North America, over the next few years, heightened consciousness about the alternatives to dumping organics wastes in landfills will drive tremendous opportunities for companies able to recycle organic wastes into clean energy for our communities and soil enhancement products for our gardens and agricultural land.”
Founded in 2008, Harvest Power
- employs more than 600 people at nearly 40 sites;
- has built and operates three anaerobic digesters;
- processes over 2 million tons of organic wastes per year;
- sells 33 million bags of soil and mulches through 1200 locations across North America
About Harvest Power
Harvest creates a more sustainable future by helping communities better manage and beneficially re-use their organic waste through the production of renewable energy and soils, mulches and natural fertilizers.
Harvest’s vision is to find the highest and best use for the 500 million tons of organic materials produced in North America each year. The company operates organics facilities in the Mid-Atlantic and West Coast of the U.S., and in Ontario and British Columbia, Canada.
Harvest has grown rapidly since its founding in 2008 and has garnered awards for its business of energy generation and soil revitalization. The company has been named to the Global Cleantech 100 four years in a row and received Bloomberg’s 2013 New Energy Pioneer Award.
Woody Harrelson is a co-counder of a company producing high quality paper from left over wheat straw.
With the proliferation of e-readers, tablets and smartphones it certainly feels like the world is printing less but are we?
The paper industry will tell you that, despite downward trends in certain categories, the global consumption of paper products is actually rising. Whether it is growing or not, our global appetite for paper products is still massive with over 400 million metric tonnes (3 billion trees worth) of paper consumed annually.
The numbers are staggering and with 1.6 billion people around the planet depending directly on natural rainforests food, clothing and shelter, can we continue to cut down 3 billion trees per year for paper?
Actor and activist, Woody Harrelson is the co-founder of a company that hopes to reduce this impact on the planet by producing high quality paper from straw left over from the production of wheat. Step Forward Paper, made with 80 per cent wheat straw, is the first paper of its kind to hit shelves in North America.
Two boxes saves one tree:
“Almost half the world’s forests have been cut for paper products,” said Harrelson, “Step Forward Paper is great for our forests, our farmers and our future.”
Harrelson is partners with entrepreneur, Jeff Golfman and former Manitoba finance minister, Clayton Manness in this project that after 15 years of research and development was made available through Staples stores (and online) across Canada and the United States last summer.
Step Forward Paper buys wheat waste from farmers after it is harvested for food, providing the farmers with an extra diversified income.
The paper is currently made in India from straw sourced nearby but the long-term goal for the team is to build a "state-of-the-art, off-the-grid, eco pulp and paper mill" in North America.
Step Forward Paper is an 8.5" X 11", 80% tree-free paper sheet made from wheat straw waste and bleached using an Elemental Chlorine-Free sequence (ECF). The paper is FSC certified by the Rainforest Alliance. It is currently available in North America exclusively from Staples.
DISCLOSURE: Octaform President, David Richardson is a member of the board of directors for Prairie Paper, manufacturers of Step Forward Paper.
(Washington, D.C.) – The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced last week that Greenbuild for Europe and the Mediterranean region will launch in Verona, Italy in 2014.
“Greenbuild for Europe and the Mediterranean region is part of the global expansion of the successful Greenbuild Conference & Expo brand,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, U.S.Green Building Council. “USGBC and Hanley Wood entered into a strategic partnership earlier this year with plans to expand the conference and the Greenbuild brand. This new experience will serve as a platform for green building knowledge and shared expertise across continents, while scaling the breadth and reach of global market transformation.”
Other Greenbuild Firsts
1st Greenbuild to be hosted outside of the U.S. was Toronto in 2011;
1st West Coast Greenbuild was Phoenix in 2009;
1st Residential Summit was held in Chicago in 2007;
1st Green Jobs Fair was held in Phoenix in 2009;
1st show was held in Austin, Tex. in 2002 and hosted 4,189 attendees.
Greenbuild is the largest event dedicated to green building education and features extensive educational programming, a vast expo hall, top notch inspirational speakers and the best in-person networking opportunities an event has to offer.
Greenbuild 2013 marks the 12th anniversary of Greenbuild, and the 20th anniversary of USGBC. Greenbuild for the U.S. will be held in November 2014 in New Orleans, in addition to Greenbuild for Europe and the Mediterranean region in Verona, Italy.
"Greenbuild for Europe and the Mediterranean region will be all about green building,” said Rick McConnell, President, Hanley Wood Exhibitions. “Combining the resources of GBC Italia, USGBC, Veronafiere and Hanley Wood to deliver cutting edge education, the conference will feature top speakers in sustainability and combine the live event experience of Veronafiere and Hanley Wood. This indeed is going to be a game changer."
“Green building is not new to Europe and the Mediterranean region. With its rich history in architecture and building design, this area of the world is naturally focused on sustainable buildings,” said Mario Zoccatelli, President of GBC Italia. “LEED, as a global system, provides unique opportunities for us to advance green building in a completely new way. Greenbuild will serve as a mechanism to promote LEED and other green building tools across the continent. We are excited about creating the Greenbuild conference in the European and Mediterranean region.”
“We are honored to have been chosen as host for Greenbuild for Europe and the Mediterranean region,” said Veronafiere’s CEO Giovanni Mantovani. “For over a century, we have been organizing trade shows here in Verona, Italy, and are now considered a leader within the European trade show sector. Veronafiere has a close, longstanding partnership with Hanley Wood and is a member of the Italian GBC. We have recently added Smart Energy Expo, a show focusing on energy efficiency and the white-green economy to our long established fairs in the construction sector, Marmomacc and Samoter. Verona is a beautiful city, with a rich history and culinary tradition, well-connected by air, rail, and highway. We look forward to hosting Greenbuild in 2014.”
The NFL Franchise will be the first in the country to divert food waste to an Anaerobic Digestion facility, turning the scraps into energy and fertilizer.
This Sunday, the Cleveland Browns and FirstEnergy Stadium will showcase a new system that aims to recycle stadium food waste into renewable energy and fertilizer sources. The effort is expected to annually divert 35 tons of food waste from landfills to facilities producing sustainable, natural resources for Cleveland residents.
"Creative solutions to food waste provide communities with renewable energy opportunities and environmental benefits through reduced greenhouse gas emissions." said Secretary Vilsack. "We must better educate folks about the problem of food waste and utilize partnerships like the one in Cleveland to begin to address the issue of food waste nationwide."
The program is
Divert 35 tons of food waste from landfills every season
Reduce CO2 emissions by 28,000 pound per year
Generate enough electricity to power a single-family home for a year and a half
Produce enough natural gas to heat 32 homes for an entire month
Recover enough nutrients for 3 football fields of new crops
This initiative is part of the U.S. Food Waste Challenge, a joint USDA and EPA effort, calling on others across the food chain—including producer groups, processors, manufacturers, retailers, communities, and other government agencies − to join the effort to reduce, recover, and recycle food waste.
The Browns are the first professional franchise to implement this kind of system in their home stadium. Using the Grind2Energy™ system from InSinkErator, food scraps are collected and ground into a slurry, which is transported to an anaerobic digester operated by quasar energy group at The Ohio State University's Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC).
At the anaerobic digester, which periodically adds dairy cow manure to lower acidity and boost the methane, quasar produces biogas for energy and fuel uses in addition to vital nutrients and fertilizer that can be reused for farming.
"Digester systems are something this country's dairy farms have used for years," said Tom Gallagher, CEO of the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy. "But we have just begun to tap what is possible. Through new partnerships – whether it's with a stadium, or a hospital or a chain of supermarkets – dairy farms in all 50 states are able to house this type of system and turn food waste into food value for local communities. This proposition is just one of the goals that the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy is setting for the immediate future."
"Cities and local communities really identify with their professional teams, so when we see franchises make these partnerships and these commitments, we think there's a potential multiplier effect for every fan that's going to walk through those turnstiles," said Allen Hershkowitz, Ph.D., the director of the Sports Greening Project at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). "We think there's just an incredible amount of potential for sports teams and venues across the country to really act as leaders when it comes to changing the national conversation around food waste."
We dropped by Paragon Farms this week to check out the progress they've made on their newly rennovated poultry operation. They lined the walls and ceiling of their egg production facility with our Quick Liner wall & ceiling panels.
Here are some photos:
Quick Liner wall & ceiling panels fasten to your structure and instantly transform dark and dingy walls into a clean and bright environment that is resistant to corrosion, fade and dirt.
Extruded from food-grade PVC, Quick Liner can be used in food processing facilities, clean rooms and anywhere that biosecurity is important.
PVC is easy to clean and will not support the growth of mold so you can stop being concerned about the health of your walls and think only about the health of your livestock.
Quick Liner meets all FDA requirements for food safety and is listed as an approved construction material by the CFIA.
Paragon lined their halls and offices with Quick Liner as well. The panels are easy to clean but also help to create a bright and welcoming work environment.
The egg conveyer and sorting system mounted easily through the PVC panels.
The crew also utilized the full array of Quick Liner trim components. These finishing pieces look great but more importantly, they ensure that there are no corners for moisture or contaminants to accumulate in.
Quick Liner comes in a time-saving 18" width and is stocked and ready to ship from locations across North America.
To get a quote, click here:
| Facility rendering of an Impact Bioenergy anaerobic digestion system.
JAN ALLEN, Impact Bioenergy
Jan Allen has been involved in design, construction, and operation of organics facilities since 1989, at Cedar Grove Composting, CH2M HILL, Concept Kinetics, and Harvest Power.
Jan is president of IMPACT BIOENERGY. Formed this year, they intend to empower communities with the best bio-conversion technologies and services available to recycle organic materials into renewable energy and soil products.
He sat down with Octaform this week to talk anaerobic digestion and some of the hurdles it faces in North America.
How did you get into biogas?
My first experience was at Purdue University – we were allowed to do an undergraduate thesis – I chose methane potential via pig waste biogas. My second experience was designing mechanical piping for wastewater digesters. The concept has always been at the forefront of my engineering ideas but it has not always been economically feasible.
The economics have shifted into a much more favorable position. This is partly due to rising costs for alternatives like long distance disposal or recycling at distant composting facilities. It is also partly due to more domestic technology choices that don’t have to be imported from Europe.
A growing number of organizations and cities are aiming for zero waste as a goal. How does anaerobic digestion help accomplish this?
Anaerobic digestion is ideally suited to wet, high-calorie food wastes. These are precisely the same feedstocks that cause operational challenges for composting operations – too much water, not enough pore space, and too much oxygen demand at the beginning of the process. So for multifamily organics and commercial organics especially anaerobic digestion can extract energy and reduce the odour potential of the remaining digestate that goes to composting. College campuses are a great case study in both zero waste and self-generation of energy.
Many campuses and communities have taken the bolder step to both move past 50% diversion and to develop micro-grid power stations on-campus. Even if recycling goals are achieved they don’t account for the environmental impact of exporting waste. Today there are opportunities to avoid the fuel use for hauling and offsite disposal of these materials by creating energy locally from waste streams that would otherwise be wasted.
Converting organic materials into energy and soil on-campus is not only possible, it is more cost-effective and sustainable. With much of the district power and heating infrastructure built into their initial construction, college campuses across North America are moving to micro grid power systems.
For example UC San Diego's 42-megawatt micro grid has a master controller and optimization system and uses different generator sources - photovoltaic solar panels, fuel cells, and natural gas generators - that enable it to cover more than 90 percent of the power requirement at the 1,200-acre campus. The micro grid saves the university some $800,000 a month in energy costs.
Compared to Europe, North America has been slow to adopt biogas as a means of energy generation. What factors are holding back growth in North America?
In North America we generally operate on a market-driven system where lowest cost is overwhelmingly the decision criteria. In Europe the decision criteria was more about EU directives to reduce landfilling and produce renewable energy. These were policies adopted by counties and the European Union.
Renewable energy is tariff-driven in Europe where biomethane power is worth three times as much per kWh ($0.20/kWh in EU vs. $0.07/kWh in US). There are a number of variations on this concept including low-technology need for cooking and lighting fuel - used mainly Asia, India, and Africa; and environmental-control used mainly in North America for wastewater facilities.
The good news is that the supply chain and design/build industry for biogas is starting to grow in North America. That will drive down capital cost. We are still struggling with weak central policy and low energy tariffs but those may be the next barriers to address.
What areas of North America do you foresee growing in AD?
Those areas where there are high waste disposal costs or high electricity prices.
Over the last decade, Cow Power programs in Vermont and BC have attempted to help biogas become economically feasible. Do you believe that AD in North America can be feasible without subsidies or programs?
Yes if the current economics show high waste disposal costs or high electricity prices. It is really site-specific so each project has a unique economic situation. We created two self-evaluation models to help customers evaluate their specific economics (see here). In these tools there is a ‘project specifics’ tab to help collect the data to make a wise decision.
What services does Impact Bioenergy provide? How is Impact Bioenergy different from other firms involved in biogas?
IMPACT BIOENERGY was launched in Seattle in July 2013. We have created a unique business model focused on selling small-scale organic waste energy waste solutions to communities of 5,000 to 50,000 people for the production of renewable energy and valuable, carbon-rich by-products. Our products are pre-fabricated, modular, quickly deployed, and here in Pacific Northwest.
The centerpiece of our game-changing business model is the IMPACT BIOENERGY TECHNOLOGY SUITE: three separate but complementary organics recycling technology modules designed to operate independently or together.
IMPACT BIOENERGY TECHNOLOGY SUITE
• Biomethane production via anaerobic digestion (AD)
• Soil and heat production via composting
• Charcoal, biochar, syngas, and heat production via gasification
The trends and convergence of the global issues we can address underscores the relevancy and timeliness of this offering. Every day, each resident in campus and urban area sends two pounds of valuable organic material to disposal.
IMPACT BIOENERGY is different than other technology providers because it focuses on small scale, standardized, simple, pre-fabricated assemblies to drive down the capital cost of renewable energy systems. Delivery and installation can be accomplished in about 6 months vs. typical concept-to-startup development cycles that require 2-4 years in the industry today. Operating costs are low with near zero inputs of chemicals and consumable materials.
The ultimate success of Impact Bioenergy’s plan lies in our ability to deliver systems that will create “communities” from our customers who enjoy information sharing in the areas of purchasing, operations, and marketing.
IMPACT BIOENERGY have professionals located on the West Coast and East Coast, and in the United States and Canada. The corporate home town is Seattle, Washington
Quick Liner Wall & Ceiling Panels being installed in a Canadian poultry facility.
Construction Material Regulations
What to Expect in Canada Versus the USA
Food safety is something that most consumers take for granted but if you have ever been tasked with building a food-safe facility, you'll know that it can be a daunting exercise.
In the United States, food processing facilities are regulated by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) while in Canada, they are regulated by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). While the end-goals are similar, these federal agencies have slightly different approaches to ensuring food safety.
1. In areas where food is processed, packaged, stored or received and where utensils and equipment are kept or cleaned, the floors, walls and ceilings are to be constructed of materials that are:(a) easily cleaned;(b) durable;(c) impervious;(d) light in colour (to reflect light and facilitate cleaning);(e) smooth;(f) non-toxic; and(g) non-corrosive.2. The joints between the floors and the walls in areas identified above are to be coved and properly sealed to facilitate cleaning.
For surfaces that do not come in contact with food (such as walls and ceilings), both the CFIA and the FDA have similar requirements.
6-201.16 Wall and Ceiling Coverings and Coatings.(A) Wall and ceiling covering materials shall be attached so that they are easily cleanable.(B) Except in areas used only for dry storage, concrete, porous blocks, or bricks used for indoor wall construction shall be finished and sealed to provide a smooth, nonabsorbent, easily cleanable surface.
Whether you are building in Canada or the United States, your wall & ceiling requirements are similar. Surfaces should be smooth, easy to clean and sealable.
Canadian guidelines are more specific in the requirements that the surfaces be of bright colors and non-toxic but best practices are are best practices regardless of your regulatory body.
While it might be safe to assume that a passing facility on one side of the border would be passed by its Canadian or American counterpart, their agencies' regulatory approaches are actually quite different.
If you are building in Canada, this distinction is pretty important.
The FDA's approach to regulation (particularly with construction materials) is to provide the regulations and guidelines and evaluate the complete facility for compliance - fairly simple.
In Canada, the CFIA not only provides guidance and enforces compliance, it also evaluates and approves construction components. This means, in the case of wall & ceiling coverings, your construction materials should be on the Reference Listing of Accepted Construction Materials, Packaging Materials and Non-Food Chemical Products. Materials on this list have been evaluated by the agency and deemed 'accepted' for use in food safe facilities.
Octaform is Food-Safe
Octaform wall systems and Quick Liner wall & ceiling panels are designed to meet all of the specifications of both the FDA and the CFIA and are on the list of accepted materials (see the Octaform listing here). A full array of trim components are also available to cove corners and ensure compliance with both agencies.