Four Years After Fukushima, Japan Looks For Answers

Posted by Lee Drever on Mar 13, 2015 11:46:00 AM

It has been four years since Japan was hit with the most powerful earthquake in its recorded history.
Tsunami Devastation
 Octaform customers, Hayashi Trout shared this shot of the devastation in Ongawa, Japan

In March of 2011, just 45 miles east of the Oshika Peninsula of Tohoku, a 9.0 magnitude undersea megathrust earthquake triggered a wave of destruction unlike anything in Japan's recorded memory. The quake and subsequent tsunami washed over coastal ports and towns, claiming over 18,000 lives, destroying over one million buildings and triggering a nuclear meltdown.

Four years later, Japan continues to deal with the aftermath of the disaster. The almost 83,000 residents living closest to the Fukushima nuclear plant were evacuated and radiation levels have kept them from returning home. Cleanup continues and researchers and analysts have now ruled local dairy, produce and seafood to be safe. 

Trout Grow-Out Tanks Are Stocked
  Hayashi Trout stocks the Octaform tanks at their park near Fukushima.

However, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, fears persist. As Wired reports, locals are slow to return to locally grown food even in the face of positive data.

Understandably, these fears are also affecting Japan's energy infrastructure. The Fukushima plant and all 48 of the nation's nuclear facilities have remained closed since the events of 2011, leaving utilities scrambling for energy. Forced to rely heavily on fossil fuels, like coal and natural gas, leaders have worked to find cleaner sources like solar. 

Driven by political and popular will, solar use in Japan has grown dramatically in the last two years. Clean and renewable, it represents an about-face from atomic energy but as the New York Times reports, this may be too good to be true. Utilities are now rejecting solar, complaining that it can't reliably support the demands of the country.

Many argue that the solution, to reducing Japan's now high greenhouse gas emissions, is actually a return to atomic power. The long term effects of the world's worst nuclear meltdown since Chernobyl remain to be seen but the reality is that there have been no fatalities directly linked to the Fukushima accident.

Japan's struggle is a microcosm of our global struggle. 'Answers' are few and far between and, as they are learning, 'solutions' are often trade-offs. 

These issues around sustainability, unfortunately, are easily politicized. It seems tough, however, to take issue with the Portland Cement Association's basic sentiment on the topic:

"We believe the most sustainable building is the one still standing.” David Shepherd, PCA

Each year in the United States alone, more than $35 billion in direct property loss is caused by natural disasters.  States and municipalities are seeking to adopt ordinances that require “green” or “sustainable” construction, yet as the PCA points out, they are overlooking disaster-resistance construction. 

There is now a call for making enhanced resilience of a building’s structure to natural and man-made disasters the first consideration of a green building.  Increased longevity and durability, combined with improved disaster resistance, results in the need for less energy and resources. This is not only the case for repair, removal, disposal and replacement of building materials and contents due to disasters, but for routine maintenance and operations as well. 

Concrete Trout Tanks Under Construction
 Formed and protected with Octaform, Hayashi's aquaculture tanks survived the disaster unscathed.

“Integration of durability and functional resilience into sustainability codes, standards and programs is long overdue,” David Shepherd, director of sustainability for the Portland Cement Association (PCA) said. “Some say the most sustainable structure is the one that isn’t built. We believe the most sustainable building is the one still standing.”

Functionally resilient buildings place less demand on resources and allow communities to provide vital services, even after a natural disaster.  For example, resilient construction allows businesses to continue operations, providing municipalities with a consistent tax base. Emergency recovery, the PCA reminds us, costs money. These funds are often reallocated from other community economic, societal and environmental initiative. The ripples can last for generations.

The question of sustainability is complicated and rife with misinformation, trade-offs and unforseen consequences but building better, it seems, will always be the right choice.



Topics: Aquaculture, Agriculture, Sustainability, Concrete, Concrete Construction, seismic, disaster, energy, Agri-Food, Renewable Energy

Spotlight On Canada's Newest Anaerobic Digester At Ag-Forum

Posted by Lee Drever on Jan 9, 2015 3:47:59 PM

Seabreeze Biogas Tank
CH-Four Biogas used Octaform to form the concrete tanks of the new facility at Seebreeze Farm.

BC's newest anaerobic digester is now turning poop into power... and you can sign up for a site visit!


Seabreeze Dairy Farm in Ladner is now combining agricultural and non-agricultural waste to harness and utilize greenhouse gasses that would otherwise vent into the atmosphere. Under FortisBC's renewable natural gas program, this biogas is purified on site and injected into their natural gas system. 

Biogas Tank Construction
Assembly of the Octaform tanks began in the Spring of 2013.

This project will be spotlighted at the end of this month at the 2015 Agri-Energy & Waste Management Forum (January 30-31) in Abbottsford, BC. This forum will open on January 30 with a session focused on Seabreeze Farm and conclude with a site visit on January 31. Register Here!


Introducing the 2015 Agri-energy & Waste Management Forum

Renewable energy and waste management technologies enable you to take advantage of underutilised resources, diversify income, manage waste, and reduce costs. The 2015 Agri-energy & Waste Management Forum will enable you to increase your understanding of renewable energy and waste management technologies relevant to your farm or agricultural operation.

Also, don’t miss your chance to see BC’s newest anaerobic digester. Sign-up to book your place on the site visit bus today! The site visit will include a free bbq lunch, coffee and tea. Buses will leave from in front of TradeX (1190 Cornell St, Abbotsford). The site visit costs only $20.00!

Concrete Biogas Tank
The Agri-Energy & Waste Management Forum will provide an opportunity to hear from the technology providers and contractors that worked together to build the new Seabreeze digester. 

Anaerobic Digestion Session 1: Seabreeze Farms
January 30, 9:30am - 11:00am

Building an anaerobic digester involves many different technologies and local contractors. Through rapid-fire presentations, learn about some of the technologies and contractors that have contributed to Seabreeze Farm’s anaerobic digester in Delta. These presentations will provide useful background information for the Seabreeze Farm site visit on January 31st.

Chair: David Melnychuk (Agricultural Consultant, Langley).

  • Claire Allen (Ch-Four Biogas, Vancouver);
  • Stuart Burnside (Dual Mechanical, Surrey);
  • Brandon Kloot (Kloot Construction, Chilliwack);
  • Kerry Doyle (KPD Consulting, Abbotsford); and
  • David Richardson (Octaform, Vancouver).

For more program details and to register, click here.

Learn More About Octaform Biogas Tanks

Topics: Agriculture, Biogas, Biomethane, finished concrete forms, Dairy, CHFour, Concrete Tanks

Black Liner Panel Makes A Splash With Car Wash Owners

Posted by Lee Drever on Nov 7, 2014 3:26:00 PM

WashTrends Looks At Quick Liner

QL-PanelOur friends at WashTrends Magazine always have their ears to the ground for innovation in the car wash industry.

It didn't take long for them, therefore, to hear what Zeev Josman was up to with his wash tunnel construction projects for Carwash Services of the Southeast and how Octaform was there to help.

Black is the New Black

Josman, during a wash tunnel remodel, decided to try something a little different with the ceiling by painting it black. This color, he soon found out, not only looked slick, it was practical.  


Rotating soft washes, as anyone knows, routinely flip soap and grime onto the ceilings. This grime, Josman observed, was a lot less noticeable on a black ceiling. A black ceiling therefore not only looked great, it stayed looking neat and clean.

Octaform Listened

Custom colors are nothing new for Octaform but when Zeev explained the idea to his regional sales manager, Steve Ehrenpreis, it didn't take long to start producing Quick Liner in black for the next Sparkle Express being built in the region.

Extruded from 100% virgin PVC, Quick Liner wall & ceiling panels are durable enough to stand up to the heat, moisture and chemicals of a modern car wash. Stocked and shipping now from locations across North America, Quick Liner can protect and beautify a brand new wash or renew your existing one.

Check out this month's issue of Wash Trends for the entire story...

An excerpt from WashTrends:

A New Solution for a Cleaner, Neater Wash Tunnel
Octaform listens to their clients

Read the entire article here in the October issue of WashTrends Magazine


Octaform Creates Innovative Product for their Clients

Looking for new solutions to improve your carwash? Maybe “black” ceiling panels from Octaform is the new fashion statement for your carwash. Carwash owners are always looking for ways to increase their profits. Creating a more welcoming environment is definitely one way of doing just that. And, of course, protecting and preserving your current investment is always important. Long- term performance should be part of a good business plan.

Innovative Idea Came From Carwash Services of the Southeast

Zeev Josman of Carwash Services of the Southeast was instrumental in introducing the use of “black” ceilings for the construction or remodeling of wash tunnels. During a carwash remodeling job, Josman made the decision to paint the ceiling of the tunnel black because he liked the look and he saw the practicality behind this idea—it would make it much easier to keep the ceiling clean. Carwash owners know all too well how easily ceilings collect grime produced by brushes and rollers. Realizing that black ceilings would definitely present a cleaner, neater appearance to a wash tunnel, Josman approached Octaform and requested they start offering black ceiling panels to their customers. The ideas has really taken off.


Octaform Responds to Customer Requests for Better Protection for Walls and Ceilings

“Early indications show that the black ceiling panel is finding excellent acceptance by early adapters,” says Octaform’s president, Dave Richardson. “As with any new product, there will be those who will embrace the new innovation and those who will wait and see. Once they realize the benefits, the uptake will be much faster. The black panels are most applicable to rotating soft washes that routinely flip dirt up on the ceiling of the tunnel, making it a challenging task to keep the ceiling clean. All our customers who have installed the black panels are extremely happy with the result.”

Sparkle Express Carwash Chose Black Ceiling Panels

“We chose Octaform panels for our newest location,” said Lee Richardson, owner of five Sparkle Express Carwashes in Georgia and South Carolina. “We had worked with their regional manager, Steve Ehrenpreis, in the past and appreciated not only his product but the level of customer service that he and Octaform provide.”

“We chose to use white panels on the walls and black on the ceiling because we have a top brush in our tunnel. Any operator will agree that a top brush makes a white ceiling an eyesore as a result of the dirt and chemicals slinging off the brush onto the ceiling,” continued Richardson. “We also have colored LED lights throughout our tunnel on several pieces of equipment, and the lights show up great against the black ceiling. Customers really like our bright tunnel!”...

Read the entire article here in the October issue of WashTrends Magazine


Get a Quick Liner Quote


Topics: Car wash, Quick Liner, vehicle wash, Wall & Ceiling Panels, black

Is Your Car Wash Haunted?

Posted by Lee Drever on Oct 31, 2014 10:55:47 AM

Ford hit a home run this month with this great viral video...


We all love a good scare and Haunted Car Washes are starting to become a thing. Across the country, community groups are seizing the opportunity to catch some Halloween spirit while raising funds for some great causes.

A Michigan car wash offers up some frights for its patrons (Monroe News)

But what about the rest of the year? 

Are you scaring customers away?

Let's face it. It might be fun to get spooked at Halloween but if your walls are dark and dirty, you're not just scaring away customers, you're scaring away profits.

It doesn't take long for moisture and dirt to penetrate and stain the walls of this wash bay. 

So many consumer decisions are made in the blink of an eye and if your bays look rundown or even worse, unsafe, that decision may not end up in your favor. Female customers in particular, are always concerned with their personal safety.

A dark and dingy wash bay is unlikely attract them.


With Quick Liner Wall & Ceiling Panels, your bays can be brought back from the dead!


In stock and shipping now from multiple points across North America, Quick Liner fastens to your existing walls renewing and protecting your wash walls from the heat, moisture and chemicals of your car wash. It comes in a time-saving 18" wide panel and ships with the patented Octaform two-piece Snap-Trim system, meaning your finishing will be top-notch, no matter who does it.

Extruded from high quality PVC, Quick Liner instantly brightens and transforms your wash into an environment that you can be proud of. Legends Express in Plano, Texas used Quick Liner to line the walls of their new automatic wash. The bright, white walls & ceiling look fantastic and will continue to look this great for years to come.

'Like' Legends Express here on Facebook!

Whether you are starting from scratch or looking to rejuvinate your existing facility, 
Quick Liner can help!

Get A Quote...

Topics: Car wash, Quick Liner, vehicle wash, Video, Halloween

Tanked! The Big Reveal... (Video)

Posted by Lee Drever on Oct 28, 2014 11:25:36 AM

Friday's episode of Tanked featured their largest aquarium build yet... a 250,000 gallon shark tank constructed with Octaform!

Check it out...

Learn more about this project...

Topics: Aquaculture, aquarium, Aquaculture Tanks, Concrete Construction, Tanked, Animal Planet, Dynasty Marine, Concrete Tanks

TV Tank Builders Go Big With Octaform

Posted by Lee Drever on Oct 22, 2014 2:44:00 PM

Tanked Builders

Largest Tank Yet For Animal Planet Show

On a weekly basis, the folks at Acrylic Tank Manufacturing build some of the strangest and most extravagant custom aquariums in the world. Their work can be seen in zoos, casinos, theme parks and for four seasons now, on their own television show, 'Tanked'. 

Tracy Morgan On Tanked
Comedian, Tracy Morgan reacts to his custom tank on a previous episode. 
Airing in the United States & Canada on Animal Planet, 'Tanked' follows brothers-in-law, Wayde King and Brett Raymer as they tackle some of the most unique and challenging tank projects in the world. 

When faced with the challenge of building a 250,000 gallon set of connecting shark tanks for a new Florida aquarium, they turned to Octaform to form and protect the concrete walls.

Featuring this week on the show (The episode, 'Pipe Dreams' airs Friday, October 24 on Animal Planet), this set of tanks is the centerpiece for the brand new Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters.

A truly immersive experience, these tanks let visitors get right in the water with with exotic marine creatures to 'experience the thriving ecosystem in the aquarium environment'. Oh, and one more thing... YOU CAN FEED THE SHARKS. 

Take a look...



Building this 'experience' called for two watertight concrete tanks separated by an acrylic divider. The tanks needed to be durable and but they also needed to accomodate the unique design and openings that were crucial to the experience of the visitors brave enough to enter the tanks and the ones that prefer to stay dry. For this they chose Octaform Finished Concrete Forms (FCF).

Read: Aquarium Creates An Immersive Experience With New Octaform Tanks

Octaform FCFs form and protect concrete in one step. The smooth, food-safe panels assemble on site and are filled with concrete. The forms then remain in place protecting the concrete with a built-in PVC membrane that is watertight and fish friendly. 

Watertight Concrete Tanks
The two Octaform tanks are assembled on site. Concrete is poured into the PVC forms that stay in place protecting the walls and the marine life. 


Octaform formwork is particularly suited for aquaculture tanks but it is also used to form and protect concrete in many of the most challenging environments in the world from applications in agriculture and biogas to food processing and car washes


'Tanked' featuring Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters 
airs Friday, October 24 on Animal Planet

Learn More About Octaform Aquaculture


Topics: Aquaculture, tanks, aquarium, finished concrete forms, Aquaculture Tanks, Concrete Construction, Tanked, Animal Planet

Aquarium Creates An Immersive Experience With New Octaform Tanks

Posted by Lee Drever on Oct 2, 2014 4:38:00 PM

Shark Tank Built With Octaform
Photos: floridakeysaquariumencounters.com

Swimming With Sharks In Florida

Florida-based aquarium suppliers, Dynasty Marine Associates have learned that building better doesn't always come with a higher price tag.

Aquaculture Tank Construction

When Dynasty Marine began planning an expansion of their tropical marine habitat, their director, Forrest Young knew that concrete was the way to go. With over 30 years of fish-collecting and aquarium keeping under his belt, the leader of Team Dynasty understood that concrete would be tough enough to withstand the daily rigours of marine husbandry but price, ultimately, had to be considered. 

Concrete tanks, while longer lasting than their fibreglass counterparts, often come with extra considerations and expenses such as liners, sealants and formwork. It was only after a conversation with Steve Ehrenpreis at Octaform, that Mr. Young saw that he could build better and still stay within his budget."We wanted concrete tanks but did not think the cost would fit into our budget," said Young.

"Steve helped us determine the costs for concrete tanks with the Octaform forming system and we found that they were very affordable,“  continued Young.

Tank Walls Of Aquarium Tank

With Octaform, Steve explained, they could eliminate many of the costs associated with conventional construction.

Octaform is a stay-in-place concrete forming system that assembles quickly without specialized labor or heavy equipment. Extruded from food-grade, potable water safe PVC, it forms and protects concrete in one step. 

This built-in, easy-to-clean, PVC membrane not only protects the fish; it protects the tank walls. Octaform snaps together to form a watertight barrier between the tank and the concrete protecting it from moisture and other corrosive elements. 

While Octaform had never been specified as a tropical habitat before, the team at Dynasty were able to look at recirculating aquaculture systems across the globe that used the system. From Saudi Arabia to Japan, Norway and the United States, Octaform tanks are used to grow everything from salmon to barramundi in some of the most simple and some of the most complex aquaculture systems in the world.

Concrete Aquarium Tanks

With Steve's help, Dynasty Marine saw that Octaform was not just better than the fibreglass alternative, it fit the budget.

Using Octaform Finished Concrete Forms, Team Dynasty formed and protected two round, 10 ft high, insulated tanks joined by one straight, shared wall. The tanks, painted aquamarine blue, are now the centerpiece of newly opened, Aquarium Encounters in the Florida Keys.


Aquarium Encounters
offers a truly immersive experience for its vistors who are invited to actually get in the tanks with the marine creatures and be a part of the action in the thriving ecosystem that exists in the aquarium environment. 

Visitors get up close with tropical fish, sting-rays and (as seen in the video below) they can even feed the sharks.

Dynasty Marine Associates, Inc. supply sustainably caught tropical fish to public aquariums, research institutions and pet stores worldwide. They are a USDA supervised facility and are active members in the Association of Zoos and Aquarium (AZA), the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), the European Union of Aquarium Curators (EUAC), and the Animal Transportation Association (ATA). They dedicate 15% of their annual operating budget to the active conservation of marine resources.

Octaform is a PVC, stay-in-place concrete forming system that is ideal for the construction of high performance structures like vehicle washes, barns or commercial buildings. Because the built-in finish is watertight and food-safe, it is also ideal for tank construction. Whether it is for aquaculture, biogas or even manure containment, Octaform is a superior yet economical choice.  

See More Aquaculture Tanks...

Topics: Aquaculture, tanks, aquarium, finished concrete forms

Black PVC Panels Line The Ceiling Of A New Car Wash

Posted by Lee Drever on Mar 21, 2014 1:05:00 PM

Last week, we showed you a great example of how customers are using Quick Liner to protect and beautify the walls and ceiling of their car washes. This week, we received a few shots of another tunnel; this one is a little different.

Sparkle Express

Sparkle Express Car Wash in Greenwood, South Carolina wanted to line their new wash with Quick Liner but they had one little request. For the ceiling, instead of the usual white, owner Lee Richardson requested black panels. We regularly ship panels in white, grey, tan and custom colors but black was actually a new one for us. 

As you can see, they look great!

Richardson was "extremely happy" with the panels and service and passed on these photos:

Balck PVC Panel In Car Wash


Black Ceiling Panels in Wash Tunnel


Car Wash PVC Panels In Black

Quick Liner Wall & Ceiling Panels instantly transform dark and dingy walls into a bright, clean and welcoming environment for your customers. Click below to see how Quick Liner can protect your facility from the heat, moisture and chemicals of a modern car wash.




Topics: Car wash, Quick Liner, vehicle wash, Wall & Ceiling Panels, Custom Colors

Wash Walls Look Great With PVC Liner

Posted by Lee Drever on Mar 14, 2014 1:27:00 PM

Check out these shots of a
recently completed wash tunnel in BC.


Ventana Construction just completed construction on a beautiful new Mazda dealership in BC. The showroom, as to be expected, is stunning.

Ventana's attention to detail, however, extended back into the shop as well. It is here that they used Octaform Quick Liner to line and protect the walls of the wash tunnel.

Here are a few photos...

Quick Liner at Auto Spa02
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Moisture, heat and chemicals all work to clean your vehicle but they can do a number on your walls.

Quick Liner at Auto Spa07

Quick Liner interlocks to create a barrier between your structure and the elements that would harm it.

Quick Liner at Auto Spa03
Quick Liner at Auto Spa09

It goes up quickly and with our new Snap-Trim System, your crew can finish in a fraction of the time required by conventional trim.

Quick Liner at Auto Spa12
Quick Liner at Auto Spa20

Octaform's PVC panels are food safe and can be used in barns, food processing facilities, or just about anywhere that requires a bright, clean environment.

Quick Liner at Auto Spa18

Quick Liner comes in up to 18" widths and because it is extruded from virgin PVC, its chemical resistance properties are well documented.

Quick Liner at Auto Spa11

If you have any questions about Quick Liner, give us a call at 1-888-786-6282.

Or better yet, get a quote here:



Topics: Car wash, Quick Liner, vehicle wash, Gallery, PVC Panels

New CEO For Harvest Power

Posted by Lee Drever on Jan 10, 2014 10:18:00 AM

Organic Waste Conversion
describe the image
Harvest Power is a leader in the North American organics-to-energy industry.

Kathleen Ligocki to lead as new CEO; 
Paul Sellew to shift to Founder, Executive Chair of Board

WALTHAM, Mass - Harvest Power, a North American developer of organics-to-energy plants and compost production facilities, will have a new CEO as of January 13.

Kathleen Ligocki, an operating partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (early investors in Harvest Power), will take over for founding CEO, Paul Sellew. The founder will remain with the company, shifting to Executive Chair of the Board.

Kathleen Ligocki - Harvest Power CEO
Kathleen Ligocki takes the helm next week.

This announcement, said Sellew, comes at an important juncture for Harvest Power. “The directors and I determined that we need to invest in and increase the leadership capacity of the organization so that we can successfully navigate the next phase of our growth plan,” said Sellew, “Kathleen Ligocki brings the right combination of bold strategic insight, broad operational expertise across a number of industry sectors and financial acumen that will propel Harvest to the next level.”

Harvest Power, according to Ligocki, is already poised for some significant growth, “In North America, over the next few years, heightened consciousness about the alternatives to dumping organics wastes in landfills will drive tremendous opportunities for companies able to recycle organic wastes into clean energy for our communities and soil enhancement products for our gardens and agricultural land.”

describe the image
Founded in 2008, Harvest Power

  • employs more than 600 people at nearly 40 sites;  
  • has built and operates three anaerobic digesters; 
  • processes over 2 million tons of organic wastes per year; 
  • sells 33 million bags of soil and mulches through 1200 locations across North America


About Harvest Power

Harvest creates a more sustainable future by helping communities better manage and beneficially re-use their organic waste through the production of renewable energy and soils, mulches and natural fertilizers.

Harvest’s vision is to find the highest and best use for the 500 million tons of organic materials produced in North America each year. The company operates organics facilities in the Mid-Atlantic and West Coast of the U.S., and in Ontario and British Columbia, Canada.

Harvest has grown rapidly since its founding in 2008 and has garnered awards for its business of energy generation and soil revitalization. The company has been named to the Global Cleantech 100 four years in a row and received Bloomberg’s 2013 New Energy Pioneer Award. 



Click Here To See How Your Next Biogas System Can Be Better

Topics: Anaerobic Digestion, Sustainability, Biogas, Waste, Harvest Power