Advanced Search

Metal roof system helps oyster breeders safely hatch new coastal business

Here’s something you might not know about oysters – while the tasty bivalves you enjoyed at a recent holiday gathering or on a trip to the shore were certainly harvested from the sea, there’s a very good chance they got their start on land. Wild oysters certainly exist, but the vast majority – up to 95% – are farmed and start off as larvae in land-based commercial hatcheries.

Oyster farmers purchase larvae, as well as “seed,” which is the next stage in oyster development, from hatcheries that specialize in oyster breeding. A new hatchery on Maryland’s Eastern Shore is taking a high-tech approach to its operations, but its design calls on age-old materials, including a standing-seam metal roof to ensure it remains operational for decades to come.

The Ferry Cove Hatchery in Sherwood, Md., has developed technology that enables it to extend the spawning season of brood stock from March through September, instead of the standard summer months of June through August. Sited on the Chesapeake Bay shore, it draws water from the Bay and runs it through a filtering system that can adjust for both salinity and temperature to create the ideal breeding conditions. Of course, the location also puts the facility’s exterior at risk, both from hurricanes and the long-lasting impacts of salt spray exposure.

To help address these dangers, Becker Morgan Group, the Salisbury, Md.-based firm that designed the facility, opted for a PAC-CLAD standing-seam metal roof. Specifically, they turned to Petersen’s Tite-Loc Plus system in .040-gauge aluminum. Almost 21,000 sq. ft. of the panels were specified. These panels are field-seamed with a 180-degree lock for greater strength, which was a necessity given the location’s wind zone requirements. The Bone White finish selected by the designers adds a nice contrast to the building’s metal wall panels, and both elements reflect colors incorporated into its masonry base.