A new, remote home for BC seabird researchers

May 10, 2019

Triangle Island, remotely located off the Northern Coast of Vancouver Island, is home to a rugged and vulnerable climate, where Fast + Epp is helping design a new research shelter for the Triangle Island Seabird Research Station.

The research team is studying how a changing climate and ocean is affecting the birds’ ability to find food, reproduce and survive. Only a few people are granted permits to access Triangle Island every year, and the current research shelter is a 12’ x 20’ tin-clad cabin with a leaky roof.

The new shelter needed to be designed to resist the unpredictable and harsh weather patterns typical of Triangle Island. Considering the remote and sensitive nature of the site, the logistics of construction needed to be carefully considered.

The design included as much prefabrication as possible to transport the building components to site and to reduce construction times (weather windows are very short for the crews).  In addition, the design is intended to make as little of a mark on the sensitive ecosystem as possible, by avoiding the use of concrete foundations and elevating the entire cabin above grade.

The Triangle Island Seabird Station program is a joint collaboration between Simon Fraser University and Environment and Climate Change Canada. The cabin is expected to be completed by end of summer 2019.

The photo gallery below was taken by our engineer, Tom Duke, on a recent site visit to Triangle Island.