Crews begin installing the roof beams on the Barnston Pump Station, part of the Ridge Water Utility Project. It will feature a green roof with indigenous plants and the capability to generate energy for the equivalent of about 80 homes a year.
A crane is lifting large, curved wooden beams above the newly constructed walls of the Barnston Pump Station.
“We’re getting to the stage of just starting to put the roof on, today they’re swinging the roof beams into place,” explains Steve Billington, a Community Liason Officer with Metro Vancouver. “The beams here are made of wood. They didn’t have to be, they could have been steel, but we felt this was an interesting architectural feature, it also uses a resource that is sustainable.”
“These are glue-lam beams,” adds Billington. “They are made of layers of wood or planks that have been glued together and they are obviously covered with a coloured coating so they are protected and will last for a very long time. The glue-lam beams are being moved into place with a crane, which is also used for bringing other heavy objects into the site.”
“Once the roof is on and complete, from the outside it might look like the building is fairly finished,” says Billington. “We then have a lot of work to do inside. We have to install all the wiring and pumps and the control systems that run them.”
Across a lane from the imposing concrete walls of the pump station are homes. But neighbours won’t be looking at a grey expanse once the building is complete.
“For people that live next to the pump station, the wall right now is a big concrete object,” says Billington. “And it’s not very nice to look at. But when the building is complete, with the overhang of the roof, they’ll be able to see the surface of the green roof with plants and grasses and it will partly block the view of the wall.”
Billington notes that the large building offers some sound-proofing benefits as well.
“The wall is designed so that the noise that comes from Lougheed Highway towards the residents and was once screened by some trees that were on the site, will actually be blocked by the building. The green roof is designed to absorb water that would fall on the site, so it will contain rain water but it will also deaden sound and stop it from reflecting back into the neighbourhood.”
The Barnston Pump Station is slated to be operational in 2015