ANCHORAGE, ALASKA — The Institute of Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) announced that the first completed project assessed using ISI’s new Envision sustainable infrastructure rating system is the William Jack Hernandez Sport Fish Hatchery in Anchorage. The HDR-designed project received an Envision "Gold" award, which was announced at a reception event in Washington, D.C., and a day earlier onsite at an event in Anchorage. The 141,000-square foot hatchery facility is the largest indoor sport fish hatchery in North America, and contains many sustainable features, including sophisticated recirculation technology that reduces by 95 percent the water and energy normally used by conventional hatcheries.
The hatchery’s Gold-level Envision award represents significant achievements in sustainable infrastructure design. The project was assessed using the 60 Envision sustainability criteria in the categories of Quality of Life, Leadership, Resource Allocation, Natural World, and Climate and Risk.
"All HDR employees are very proud to be leaders in developing and implementing a sustainability rating system that will significantly influence our clients and projects from now on," said Sustainability Director Michaella Wittmann. "We think Envision will be a game-changer, doing for sustainable infrastructure what the now-commonplace LEED rating has done for sustainable architecture."
The sustainability aspects of the fish hatchery that garnered high-level ratings included leaving the brownfield site cleaner than before, saving water and energy, keeping Ship Creek clean, and building public education into its design. Additional higher levels of achievement were concentrated in several Envision structure credit categories, including the following:
Leadership Category — Pursued by-product synergy: The project formed a partnership to transfer waste from the operations of the facility as input to another facility, and evaluated the potential to make use of warm water from a neighboring industry.
Leadership Category — Improved infrastructure integration: The project repurposed existing water and sewer infrastructure; created connections to existing bike trails and created a parallel bike trail through a park-like setting, while clarifying traffic flow and protecting the stream; restored and improved public park-like setting and viewing areas with trails, boardwalk, and educational signs.
Quality of Life — Improved the net quality of life of all communities affected by the project and mitigated community impacts. The project improved user accessibility, safety and wayfinding of the site and surrounding areas. It also enhanced public space including improvement of public parks, plazas, recreational facilities, or wildlife refuges to enhance community livability.
Resource Allocation — Reduced energy use: The project piloted and later implemented a full scale, highly efficient, recirculated aquaculture system that reduced the energy needed to heat the process water, ventilation, and building heating by approximately 88 percent, while significantly reducing operating costs and maintaining production goals.
Natural World — Preserved greenfields: The project included the environmental restoration of a former military brownfield and greyfield site, including the cleanup of contaminated soils.
Natural World — Reduced pesticide and fertilizer impacts: The project team designed the landscaping to incorporate native plant species suitable to the Alaskan climate, requiring no pesticides, herbicides or ongoing fertilizers.
"The William Jack Hernandez Sport Fish Hatchery provides a great fit for the first-ever ISI Envision project award. As the heart of Alaska’s sport fish stocking program, and the largest indoor sport fish hatchery in North America, it’s also the largest application of water recirculation technology for a hatchery. The sustainability of this project guided the vision and development of every aspect of the hatchery, and all facets of building and site design incorporated sustainability principles that will last far into the future," said ISI Executive Director William Bertera.
In addition to HDR, Inc.’s achievement as the designer of the first Envision project award, it is also a charter member of the ISI, and was the first firm to commit to having more than 100 staff credentialed as Envision Sustainability Professionals (ENV SPs) by the end of the year. HDR reached that credentialing milestone in June, which included the entire engineering management staff.