Case Study for Centre for Shellfish Research, Deep Bay, Bowser, BC

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Owner: Vancouver Island University Engineering: Levelton Environmental: Streamline Environmental Contractor: Heatherbrae Builders


The Centre for Shellfish Research is a near 10,000 square foot teaching, conference and research facility owned and operated by Vancouver Island University (VIU). The main building is located on a north-facing slope above Deep Bay. Future development may include a saltwater tank farm below the main building for additional research space.

Funding by: Provincial/Federal Governments Architect: McFarland Marceau Architects Ltd.

TOTAL COSTS $7 000 000.00


Deep Bay Marine Field Station Centre for Shellfish Research Vancouver Island


370 Crome Point Road, Bowser, BC


1. LEED Platinum Facility 2. VIU field station for shellfish research and education 3. Soft shoreline preservation and minor restoration project part of project outcomes.

This example represents a shore design that follows Green Shores principles. It is not necessarily Green Shores certified.




The Deep Bay Marine Field Station was constructed to the highest environmental standards (LEED Platinum Certified in 2013). The main building was situated far back from the shoreline, and associated facilities such as parking and roads were kept as small as possible. Only the saltwater intake lines and associated pump infrastructure were located near the shoreline.

The subject property was heavily used by First Nations communities in the distant past, with middens located along almost the entire shoreline and in other areas around the site. Avoiding these archaeological treasures represented a significant challenge to the project. Also, installation of saltwater intake pipes across the beach represented a technical challenge to install in the lowest-impact manner possible.

The soft, gravel and sand shoreline and significant tree cover overhanging the beach in front of the site was almost entirely preserved through good site planning and design. A small section of shoreline disturbed through installation of the saltwater intake pipes required restoration of riparian vegetation and beach gravels.

SEDIMENTATION AND POLLUTION CONTROL Sediment is managed on site through landscaped swales and a sediment pond adjacent to the foreshore. Pollution prevention includes spill kits in vehicles/vessels and double walled tanks for on-site fuel storage.

LESSONS LEARNED - Protected shorelines are valuable, biologically active and dynamic places, and are interesting and fun places for visitors to spend time. - Avoiding the urge to build close to the shoreline affords significant benefits, such as reduced risk exposure to the effects of sea level rise, improved views from siting a building higher on a slope, and retention of a fully intact and healthy shoreline.

OUTCOME - Preservation of over 80% of the shoreline and mature riparian vegetation;


- Preservation of sediment transport processes and beach profile;

Sensitive midden areas on the site were replanted as follows:

- Preservation of fresh water flows onto the beach largely in pre-development condition;

1) Midden Area on East Side of Site - Red Osier dogwood, Maple, Twinberry, Cedar, Ninebark, Willow, Salmonberry, Cascara, and Grand fir;

- Good building setbacks and high standard of construction (LEED Platinum Certification).

2) Midden Area on West Side of Site - Cedar, Salmonberry, Cascara, Grand fir, Cherry, and Slough sedge; 3) Midden Area near Beach - Gumweed, Dune grass, Coastal strawberry, and Kinnikinnick.


CONCEPTUAL MASTER PLAN Deep Bay Field Station, Bowser, BC


PHOTO DOCUMENTATION – Insert two or three photos from each phase of construction Pre-Construction

Construction Phase


For More Information Contact: Brian Kingzett, Vancouver Island University, Bowser, BC. 250-740-6399 / / 4