Molson Coors Fraser Valley Brewery


45662 Elder Ave

Chilliwack, BC


V2R 3Z7

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Certifications & Awards
Project Team
  • Architect: Omicron AEC
  • Electrical Engineer (building): Omicron AEC
  • Mechanical Engineer: Omicron AEC
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Hal Owens of Omicron AEC and Nick Muzzin of Molson Coors Beverage Company


The Fraser Valley facility is spread across an area of 500,000ft² and includes warehousing, processing, offices, packaging and staff facilities, and replaces the older Burrard street brewery in Vancouver.

The new facility has 50 brewery tanks and other related equipment. The largest tanks are 60ft-tall and measure 19ft in diameter. It has the capacity to produce 1,200,000 hectolitres of beer a year.

The project is pursuing LEED NC 2009 certification at the Certified level

Key Sustainability Features

The building energy cost reduction was modeled to be at least 20% relative to a baseline building

Reduced brewing process energy use by 20% compared to the facility it replaces

Reduced water use to 2.8 l of water per l of beer compared to 3.5 on the old facility being replaced

Extensive native and adaptive plantings provide habitat, preservation of natural hydrology cycles, heat island mitigation and treatment of runoff.

Sustainable Sites

Native/adaptive species planted over approximately 50% of the site.

The large retention pond collects runoff from impermeable surfaces, decreases peak flows and allows settling of suspended solids prior to discharge to storm.

Bioswales in the parking lot collect runoff from the staff parking area and remove pollutants and suspended solids.

The heat island effect refers to the warming of the local microclimate due to dark building and paving surfaces that collect and store the sun’s heat.

The heat island effect potential of an over 400,000 square foot roof area was mitigated by selection of a white roof. The white roof also helps to reduce peak temperatures in summer inside the building, as the white roof absorbs less heat than a traditional dark coloured roof.

The extensive natural landscaping also contributes to a reduction of the heat island effect.

Building Materials and Resources

An insulated metal panel design was selected for the exterior walls. This substantially reduced the amount of concrete relative to usual tilt-up concrete warehouse design

FSC certified wood from sustainably harvested forests was used in the finishes in the administration offices, circulation spaces and other areas such as the lunch room and tasting room.

Well over 75% of construction waste was diverted from landfill and recycled


Effective R-values of the exterior wall assemblies exceed R-20, with a layer of nearly continuous insulation thanks to the insulated metal panel design. Continuous insulation is more effective at reducing heat transfer across a wall than insulation placed between framing members.

Indoor Environmental Quality

Windows in production areas: the design includes strategically placed windows in the production area. This is uncommon in the food and beverage production industry, but was done to give workers a connection to the time of day and the seasons, improving the occupant experience.

Building Energy

Building energy (excluding the energy for the production processes) was modeled against an ASHRAE 90.1-2007 baseline and shows a 22% energy cost reduction.

Major energy conservation measures implemented include:

  • High performance exterior walls of over R-20 effective
  • Interior lighting energy cost savings of 48% relative to baseline by using all LED lighting
  • Exterior lighting energy cost savings of 78% relative to baseline
  • Heat recovery
  • Fabric ducting for ventilation distribution reduces fan power requirements and static pressure

Brewing Process energy

Low Evaporation Rate In Brewhouse Boiling

Steam vapour from brewing vessels is vented to atmosphere through the stacks or chimneys from the vessels through the roof of the brewery. The majority of this vapour is water. The brewing process is a cooking process exactly like cooking in pots on a stove top in a domestic home.

As part of this process the wort is boiled in the brewhouse and typically breweries would use an evaporation rate of 6% during the wort boil, this brewery has been designed for an evaporation rate of 1%. The heat for this boiling process comes from steam is generated in the. Wort boiling at 6% represents about 45% of the heat energy required by the brewing process and by reducing the evaporation rate in the brewhouse Wort Kettle from a typical 6% down to 1% reduces the overall average steam consumption in the brewery by approximately 10%.

Low Steam Usage Deaerated Process Water Production

Water that is blended into the product or used for other production proposes must have the O2 removed to low levels as this otherwise provides an environment for off-flavours to develop. This is typically done in a deaeration process which relies on the principle that the solubility of a gas in water decreases as the water temperature increases and approaches saturation temperature. By using new technologies and running this section of the Deaeration Process Water Plant at 72˚C vs the traditional 105˚C the steam usage in the brewery is reduced by a further approximately 1.5%

Condensate return volume of 90%

All available condensate is collected from the brewhouse, beer processing and packaging and returned to the boiler house, minus the flash steam losses. This minimizes the requirement for heating of make-up water which again reduces the steam requirement for heat up by about 2% when collecting 90% of the condensate vs 75%.

Flash Pasteurizing vs Tunnel Pasteurizing

The beer is required to be pasteurized during the packaging process. This is done by adding heat to the product with a time element and can either be done in the bottle with a tunnel pasteurizer or pre-filling in a Flash Pasteurizer. Flash Pasteurizing is a newer technology and requires a sterile filling environment (additional investment) as the pasteurization has taken place prior to filling. For this brewery most products (95%) will use flash pasteurizing. The Flash Pasteurizers on the Can Line and RGB line will reduce overall average steam usage in the brewery by 25% when running vs using the traditional tunnel pasteurizers. Note that tunnel pasteurizers are installed for certain products.

Recovery of Rinse Water From Cleaning in Place

It is difficult to quantify this saving accurately, but it will contribute to overall steam savings as this water is already heated.