February 4, 2004
by Canadian Architect
Robert Burgers Architect (RBA), the Vancouver-based firm led by the father-son team of Robert and Cedric Burgers, recently won the Gold award at the 2003 Design Exchange Awards in the sustainable design category for their Freybe Gourmet Foods facility in Langley, British Columbia (see CA, August 2003).
Robert and Cedric Burgers are known for their environmentally responsible and cost efficient architectural designs. The Burgers have worked on numerous industrial and residential projects throughout Western Canada.
The National Post Design Exchange Awards competition is Canada’s only annual awards program to judge design by results that balance function, aesthetics and economic success. The sustainable design category encompasses concepts that benefit the community and have minimal impact on the environment.
One of RBA’s unique design features that intrigued judges was a bio-filtration system at the Freybe production plant where rainwater is collected from the parking lot as well as the facility’s roof areas, treated and then slowly released into the nearby salmon-bearing creek. The bio-filtration system employs holding ponds, reeds and other plant materials that filter the rainwater. This system is fully endorsed by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada and has set the standard for the other properties adjacent to the creek.
Known for its specialty meat products, family-owned Freybe Gourmet Foods needed to build a new facility to accommodate its growth and expansion. The new facility also needed to address the company’s commitment to environmental sustainability, as well its high standards for quality, cleanliness and employee safety.
Robert Burgers Architects designed the 9,900 sq. metres (110,000 sq. feet) production facility that incorporated functionality, resource and energy efficiency, and flexibility for future expansion. One innovative feature is a "closed-smoking system" where instead of burning off smoke arising from production processes, the smoke is recycled by
applying new technology so that no smoke contaminants are released into the atmosphere.
The Freybe facility is built with fully recyclable materials and encompasses floor to ceiling glass, allowing natural light to shine into the office and production areas, reducing electricity demands. The bright and spacious interior includes amenities specifically designed for employee comfort and well-being. The Freybe production plant houses more than 250 employees.