Forget bars, water taxis & Ferris wheels: This Canadian city’s revitalized waterfront needed a beautiful new waste-to-fertilizer factory

While municipalities across the world grapple with the realities of climate change, Hamilton, Ontario is continuing to attract innovative companies that are focused on cleaner and greener technologies.

The latest company is SusGlobal Energy, a leader in the renewables space that converts green bin waste into pathogen-free liquid organic fertilizer. They are expanding their operations in Ontario, and recently acquired the former site of an animal pellet production plant with Environmental Compliance Approvals in Hamilton’s East Bayfront for their new production, warehouse, and regional distribution facility, located at 520 Nash Road N.

The new state-of-the-art facility and workplace will have the capacity to produce approximately $2 million worth of organic fertilizer daily.

Guided by a healthy and resilient building design strategy, ZAS Architects’ approach for the 40,000 sq. ft. facility converts an existing former industrial warehouse into a light-filled, inspiring workplace that will be welcoming to visitors, educators, and the next generation of innovators.

The architecture retains the structural skeleton of the existing warehouse tower and highlights it. The exterior façade is re-cladded with transparent materials, expertly blending the industrial past of the site with its modern and progressive use, providing an inviting glimpse into SusGlobal’s operations. An 11,000 sq. ft. addition will be added to house office space and labs for SusGlobal’s ongoing research and development.

The design of SusGlobal’s new facility in Hamilton East Bayfront embraces the past and celebrates the future, creating a healthy and wellness-focused workplace that signals the changing face of Hamilton’s industries and its emerging green economy. This project also provides an opportunity to rethink how we approach the design of sustainable waste management facilities as integral sites in our city landscape,” says Paul Stevens, Senior Principal at ZAS Architects.

SusGlobal’s new headquarters in Hamilton’s historic industrial employment area, traditionally home to manufacturing, transportation, and steel industries, will be an exciting and welcome arrival, aligned with the City’s efforts to attract greener industries and make the area more attractive for new businesses. For SusGlobal, their expansion in the Greater Hamilton Area was a strategic move based on proximity to agricultural clients, such as wineries and cannabis growers in the Hamilton-Niagara region and convenient access to municipal clients in Southern Ontario.

Hamilton’s East Bayfront has been the city’s economic engine for decades. It’s where Hamilton became known as one of Canada’s major manufacturing centres. Our adaptive reuse approach of the former building intentionally retains and highlights elements of the existing industrial structure to pay homage to that legacy and to stand in parallel with SusGlobal’s ethos as a leader in the circular economy,” says Stevens.

SusGlobal’s patented organic fertilizer reduces greenhouse gas emissions, reduces the overall carbon footprint of agricultural operations, and prevents contamination of water ways due to agricultural run-off. Currently, SusGlobal operates a 120,000 ton per annum intake and compost facility in Belleville Ontario. The construction of their new Hamilton facility is expected to be completed by 2022.

We are thrilled to be working with award-winning ZAS Architects who are on the leading edge of creating healthy workplaces that support innovation and environmental stewardship,” says Marc Hazout, President and CEO of SusGlobal. “ZAS’s approach to healthy building design has been a guiding principle throughout the process, and we are excited to give SusGlobal more prominent visibility in Ontario.

Once completed, the new facility will run 24-hours per day, 7-days per week with the annual capacity to process 65,000 metric tons of organic waste indoors with no odors, converting municipal green bin waste into a regenerative, pathogen-free organic liquid fertilizer and other organic agricultural products.

Rendering credit: ZAS Architects.

See SusGlobal Energy website.

See ZAS Architects + Interiors website.

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