North America’s first commercial asphalt shingle recycling facility by Northstar

  • Project
BBA Northstar Asphalt Shingle Recycling Plant CCEAWARDS 05

Asphalt shingles are the most popular roofing material in North America, according to the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers’ Association (ARMA). An estimated 75% of single-family homes in Canada and the US have this roofing, and a staggering 84% of home roofing and re-roofing projects in the US opt for asphalt shingles. Asphalt shingles are a top-5 contributor to construction and demolition (C&D) waste globally.

Each year, 16.5 million tonnes of asphalt shingles (equivalent to roughly 20 million barrels of oil), find their way into North American landfills, where they neither biodegrade nor decompose. Northstar is developing a first-of-its-kind commercial facility to solve this problem.

  • Date Jul 04, 2024
  • Region Western Canada
  • Client Northstar
  1. Our experts' solutions 

    BBA was mandated to complete the front-end engineering (FEED) and detailed engineering phases for the first commercial facility in Calgary. Carried out in EP mode, this multidisciplinary project spanned the entire project life cycle, from early work to commissioning, and included process, mechanical, civil, piping, electrical, automation, and procurement.

    What made this project so intriguing and challenging was its uniqueness! While Northstar’s pilot facility has been running successfully in Delta, British Columbia (near Vancouver), the Calgary facility required substantial enhancements to work at a commercial scale. Through extensive research, testing and innovative engineering, the team achieved improvements for better efficiency and cost savings.

    Innovation is significant in this project, but what sets it apart is its complete circularity and commitment to true recycling. BBA played a pivotal role in this achievement by integrating new technologies and specialized equipment and by contributing to the proof of concept.

  2. An unconventional iterative approach for a first-of-its-kind project

    With no standardized model available, our team embarked on a global search for the right technologies and equipment. This required a deep understanding of their functionalities. Every step was focused on modelling various scenarios to assess the most technically and economically viable options.

  3. A unified team effort

    Given the unique nature of the mandate and the need to move quickly and capitalize on innovation, the Northstar team came into the BBA Calgary office a few days a week to work together in person utilizing a dedicated war room created specifically for Northstar. This collaborative approach made it easier for real-time problem-solving, brainstorming and decision-making and kept the project moving. Such a high level of integration and close collaboration between the engineering firm and its clients, while rare, proved indispensable in aligning strategies, budgets, engineering challenges and project development, exemplifying the depth of the partnership

  4. Accelerating the process, from initial concept to detailed engineering

    Unlike conventional projects with clear scopes and timelines, this endeavor required swift adaptation to transition efficiently into detailed engineering. BBA started with value-stream mapping, focusing on engineering disciplines, and then combined agile approaches to instill engineering due diligence, processes and structure to project development. Supported by remarkable teamwork between BBA and Northstar, this approach allowed us to go from an undocumented prototype to a fully detailed engineering plant within a mere two years, effectively slashing the usual timeline by approximately 50% for such projects.

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