The Operations Building is part of the 2011 Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Facility on the Fraser River in New Westminster; it is a showcase in environmental sustainability and visible public infrastructure. The building, located above the massive 20,000 m3 underground overflow tank, provides electrical and mechanical equipment spaces, as well as public washrooms for the surrounding public park. The project started with a vacant industrial, “brownfield” site, and resulted in a beneficial facility that incorporates a public park for recreational and education use. The West Branch CSO Detention Facility will provide substantial benefits to the both the environmental and public at large.
The architectural design of the Operations Building focused on complementing the park setting with a reinterpreted post-industrial design approach. A mixture of materials, including heavy timber, steel, exposed concrete, masonry and green and metal roofs, help mitigate the imposition of a large, industrial facility on the planned public outdoor space. Using reclaimed timber and steel materials from a decommissioned local sawmill ensures the building reflects the industrial heritage of the community and the site.