Publications

The Changing Landscape of Brownfield Sites in BC
March 1, 2012
Meagre Slide: One Year Later
August 4, 2011
An Ecosystem Based Approach to Development
July 5, 2011
Understanding GeoExchange: Heat Pump Technology
July 1, 2011
Quantifying Remote Northern Terrain Geohazards in a Changing Climate
June 23, 2011
Building on the Benefits of Renewable Energy
May 31, 2011
Growing Demand
April 26, 2011
Beaver Barracks Geoexchange
March 14, 2011
Geomorphology in a Digital Age
March 1, 2011
Paved Paradise
March 1, 2011

Hemmera's brownfield team has published an article on the changing brownfield landscape across BC. The article highlights community examples and brownfield planning charette strategies to encourage dialogue and change within brownfields. Read the article in BCEIA to learn about the future of brownfields in BC. 

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Since the natural disaster happened over a year ago at the Mt. Meagre landslide in Whistler, Hemmera's Rick Guthrie has been providing world-class geomorphoogy and geohazard advice to this project.

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Our Senior Environmental Planner, Jon Turner provides experienced insight into the principles of ecosystem approaches and development plans.

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In the July/August issue of NA Clean Energy magazine, our renewable energy engineering expert Ruben Arellano describes the advantages of geothermal heat pump technology, and how they can be simple to install.

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Madrone and Hemmera teamed up to tackle remote northern terrain geohazards in a changing climate. The article describes how we initiated development of a cost-effective, but robust method for mapping permafrost occurrence and quantifying geohazards with hazard mapping that addresses both present and future potential stability issues.

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Hemmera renewable energy engineering lead explains the three most important benefits to installing renewable energy technologies in your building.

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Our renewable energy expert, Ruben Arellano describes the benefits of geoexchange systems and the growing demand of this renewable system.

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Hemmera provides geoexchange expertise on canada's largest 240-unit housing complex; a sustainable affordable housing development.

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As an observational science, geomorphology has a rich history. By the first century BC, Roman Engineer Vitruvius first described the hydrologic cycle where water falling on the ground eventually resurfaced in lowland areas. Years later, Geographia was written by Ptolemy, and described the 2nd century Roman Empire. Chinese scientist Shen Kuo first began building conceptual models of soil erosion and sea level change almost 1,000 years ago and Leonardo da Vinci made geological and geomorphological observations as well as several cartographic drawings during his lifetime in the late 15th and early 16th centuries. The Russian geographer Mikhail Lomonosov founded the study of glaciology in the 18th century, and 20th century greats like Luna Leopold and Arthur Strahler began to explore the landscape using systematic quantitative methods.

For hydrology in particular, quantitative methods began to reveal underlying rules and governing laws about the flow of water above and below ground, and
these laws are routinely used in engineering design today. Much of the remainder of geomorphology, however, remained a largely descriptive, qualitative science with limited means to bring together the observations of individual scientists in a meaningful way.
 
Understanding of geohazards, for example, has been limited by a dearth of data and limits in science’s ability to measure meaningful changes in the earth at an appropriate scale and with appropriate accuracy. The accelerated pace of technology in the last two decades has dramatically changed the scientific landscape, and as a consequence, changed both our understanding and our capacity to understand the physical one.
 
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Besides the damage gas residue is potentially doing to the surrounding soil and groundwater, there’s a less obvious negative consequence of letting these sites sit unaddressed. 

Scott Bailey with the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture and Lands says, “It can be a city’s face to the public. Often, these sites are on the highway, so it’s the first thing you see on your way into and out of town.”
 
Bailey manages the ministry’s brownfields and program development department. He says a community—especially a small municipality—can feel more than an
economic drain when saddled with a fencedin, abandoned space. When a city is filled with green space, it feels prosperous; when it’s peppered with abandoned lots, it’s depressing. 
 
But for developers or stakeholders, this land isn’t worth the cost of remediation. Decontaminating a site can load up a developer with high upfront costs that mean only a massive profit would make it a worthwhile deal. Without cleanup, there aren’t a lot of options for these eyesores—the sensible option is usually to cap it and cover it in cement. 
 
During a panel discussion at this past October’s Canadian Brownfields conference in Toronto, Husky Energy’s Will Ratliffe said parking lots, as an interim use for closed
gas stations, are “standard” and “harmless to a community.”
 

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