Customer name: SPEC Environmental
Building size and series: Three Atlas Building Series (62’ x 200’, 72’ x 200’, and 72’ x 80’)
Building use: Composting/organic waste
Authorized Dealer: Treeline Project Management Ltd.
Overview of business and benefits of the building:
Hubert LeBlanc, owner and operator of the SPEC Environmental Solutions commercial composting facility in Digby County, Nova Scotia, has been involved in composting of some type for over 40 years. According to LeBlanc, as the mink industry in Nova Scotia continued to expand, the problem of what to do with all of the industry waste became an issue. LeBlanc was approached in 2001 by some of the mink industry leaders, and as a result, opened up his facility and made the transition from small-scale on-site composting of waste from his pork operation, to large-scale, commercial processing of waste from the regional mink and fishing industries.
SPEC Environmental operates a 31,000-sq. ft. facility that utilizes a window system to process 8,000 tons of organic waste annually. All composting and processing is completed under three Britespan fabric buildings: a 62’ x 200’, 72’ x 200, and a 72’ x 80’ Atlas Building Series. All three structures are built on 8’ high frost walls. LeBlanc installed the foundations himself, as he also owns a concrete company.
Total construction time for the three buildings was just under four weeks.
LeBlanc notes two main reasons why he chose to house his operation under the cover of a fabric structure. “In Nova Scotia, regulators require that all composting be done under cover to reduce excess liquid runoff from entering nearby waterways,” he explains. “So the first reason is we are required to have a structure.
The second reason is that keeping active compost out of the elements makes our product a lot easier to handle and move around, and the structure makes for a better work environment for our 30-plus staff members. It is more satisfactory for our workers if they are out of the weather and wind.” He adds that another advantage to a fabric structure versus a conventional building made of materials like brick or wood is that once the decision is made to install a fabric structure, you have a waterproof operation within weeks versus the construction time of a conventional building of the same size.
After looking at multiple suppliers, Britespan’s experience in the industry, product durability, and the ease to construct and maintain the structure, helped LeBlanc with his decision to choose Britespan, he notes. And the structures have lived up to the expectations he had when he purchased his first one. “In spite of rain, snow, and wind, the first Britespan we installed looks the same as when we put it in. We haven’t done any repair or maintenance to a structure at this point. “The Britespan dealership in our area has been very good,” LeBlanc says. “Anytime we buy anything, we look at the person or dealership that is selling it, because we want to be sure we can communicate with the vendor.”