Client: North America Construction
Location: Vancouver, Burnaby, and Richmond, British Columbia
Size: N/A

J.L. Richards & Associates Limited (JLR) was retained by North America Construction (NAC) as part of a design/build team to provide project design coordination, structural, and architectural design for the Iona Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP). The Iona WWTP provides wastewater treatment to approximately 600,000 residents in Vancouver and parts of Burnaby and Richmond.

JLR’s structural team recognized the uniqueness of the truck sludge loading structure and undertook a performance-based structural design. Very large heavy sludge hoppers were filled and emptied on a daily basis. These hoppers presented a specific challenge for seismic design because the filled weight and emptied weight caused the structure to be noncompliant for postdisaster design. JLR completed specialized structural analysis methods that were beyond the normal code methods. The result was a higher performing structure from a post-disaster design perspective and reducing $1M from structural steel costs for the project.

The presence of highly sensitive granular soils that presented a risk of liquefaction were also addressed. JLR’s structural solution was a partial depth ground improvement that met the clients’ criteria for performance and reduced the cost of the ground improvements by approximately $500,000.

Finally, JLR’s architectural team completed a higher level use and occupancy study for the truck loading facility and determined with the client’s intended limited occupancy use the structure could be classified as unoccupied. This opened up opportunities to right size the various heating, ventilating, systems for the environment of operation. This reduced the capital costs and future maintenance costs.

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