Case Study: Upgrading the Flusher

The City of Spokane, Wash., began making plans in 2006 for a major upgrade of its water treatment facility that would treat an average wastewater flow of 50 million gallons a day.   

Problem

The upgrade is important to residents because it will increase the removal of phosphorus from the effluent to more than 99 percent. Phosphorus has been associated with the low oxygen levels and algae blooms in Lake Spokane that can harm aquatic life. The city was required to be in compliance with phosphorus standards by March 2021 and the overall upgrade will be completed by September 2021.

Geoff Kirsten, RA, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD&C of Jacobs in Corvallis, Ore., oversaw the architectural design and provided services during construction for the new Membrane Filtration Building and says the project was in the works for quite some time.

“An Aesthetic Master Plan (AMP) was developed in 2006 for the Spokane Riverside Park Water Reclamation Facility,” he says. “Among other things, it outlines general forms, colors and materials of use for the facility.”

The design team sought out products that would meet the requirements of the AMP, which led them to MBCI. While it’s important that the products selected fell under the guidelines for forms, colors and materials, the busy facility also had to be constructed with materials that would hold up in a demanding environment. Durability was an important criterion.

Solution

“The AMP has been used to guide the design of new and retrofit projects on the plant campus since its creation,” Kirsten says. “The MBCI metal panels were used for the new Membrane Filtration Building, which houses an advanced microfiltration process critical to meeting wastewater quality standards.”

MBCI insulated metal panels (IMPs) and metal roofing were selected for the facility for several reasons, including to complement the campus cladding approach established in the Aesthetic Master Plan. It was also important to choose construction materials that would stand the test of time for $126 million project.

“The insulated metal panels were also selected for compatibility with the pre-engineered metal building superstructure,” Kirsten says. “Last, the MBCI insulated metal panels offered the advantage of having the ribbed profile integral with the panel that matches the AMP. This allowed for a cost savings from the approach used on previous project at the facility, which used a built-up cladding system that was much more labor intensive.”

Two MBCI insulated metal panel profiles were installed as wall panels on the water reclamation facility, 5-inch thick 7.2 Insul-Rib panels in Medium Bronze (14,250, square feet) and 2-inch-thick Striated panels in Slate Gray (9,000 square feet) and Classic Green (9,500 square feet). All have a 22-gauge Galvalume exterior panel. The canopy roofing is MBCI’s BattenLok HS, a 12-inch wide mechanically field-seamed structural standing seam roofing system, also in Classic Green (3,000 square feet).

Kirsten says the wall colors were intended to allow the buildings of the campus to blend with the colors of the natural forest setting immediately adjacent to campus. “The building roof was sloped to the north so that views of the building from the Spokane River would show the shortest building wall and the receding sloped roof, with the goal for reducing the apparent mass of the building,” he says.

Dan Halme, President of Halme Builders in Davenport, Wash., headed up the installation of metal panels on the project. He says this was one of the largest projects his firm has worked on, but despite several challenges, everything went well. Heavy emphasis was placed on safety and communication.

“There was a lot of equipment onsite, some had to be installed before any of the walls went up, so we had to work closely with others,” Halme says. “There were a couple of concrete mezzanines in the building that also had to be up before we could install the walls.”

The project has been deemed a success by all involved. Not only did MBCI panels help the design team meet the requirements of the Aesthetic Master Plan, they provided the City of Spokane with a new facility should service the community for years to come.

For more information, visit www.mbci.com

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