IAS Selected to Design & Build UBC Aquatic Research Facility

October 6, 2011
IAS Selected to Design & Build UBC Aquatic Research Facility

Integrated Aqua Systems, Inc. (IAS) was awarded a contract to design, build, supply, and commission the University of British Columbia’s new Aquatic Research Facility. The state-of-the-art facility is the largest of its kind in Western Canada and will serve students and researchers aquaculture research needs for many years to come. IAS is supplying a total of 13 recirculating systems which will occupy eight separate research rooms with over 7,000 sq.ft of combined laboratory floor space in the newly renovated Biological Sciences building located in the heart of the Vancouver, BC campus. The systems include seven 3,000 gallon recirculating systems designed for high-density (stocking 80kg./m3) fish rearing and six 2,000 gallon recirculating systems designed for low-density (stocking 20 kg/m3) fish rearing and holding. In addition to the recirculating systems, IAS also designed and supplied the effluent treatment system and seawater supply pump systems for the project. IAS collaborated on the project with JLH Consulting based in Courtenay, BC, Aquacare Environment, Inc. based in Bellingham, WA, and Fulcrum Technologies, Inc. located in Nanaimo, BC .

  • Systems supplied by Integrated Aqua Systems are designed for 99.9% recirculation rate utilizing PermaBead™ filtration systems as the primary mechanical filtration and MicroBead biofilter technology for biological removal of ammonia and CO2.
  • A facility-scale Windows based PLC backwash automation system was designed and supplied to provide complete automation of filter backwashing with freshwater for all 13 systems.
  • Additional life support equipment used in the project include UV Sterilizers and ozone used for sterilization and disinfection, denitrification systems to remove nitrates, protein fractionators to remove dissolved organic particles, and low head oxygenators (LHO) supplied with pure oxygen from a centralized oxygen generator to support high fish densities in tanks.
  • In addition to designing and supplying the recirculating systems for the project, IAS was retained to design the water quality monitoring, control, and alarm system for the entire facility.

Although the primary culture species are salmonids, the systems and facilities are designed to be used as “flex” research space to provide optimal rearing conditions for a wide range of saltwater and freshwater species in cold or warm water. The primary focus for UBC researchers spearheading the project will be to define the ideal fish rearing conditions, water quality parameters, feed rates, and stocking densities for commercial aquaculture. UBC research from this project will support commercial efforts to develop inland recirculating aquaculture throughout North America, which is a critical movement to provide sustainably produced fish under controlled conditions and with minimal impact to the environment.