Protecting lobsters: Englobe completes the new Homarus Centre in Shediac

This fall, Englobe is putting the finishing touches on the brand-new Homarus Centre in Shediac, New Brunswick. This project underscores the Town’s claim to fame as the “Lobster Capital of the World,” and promotes an industry critical to Shediac’s continued economic growth and mission as a major Atlantic Canada tourist destination.

The facility’s interpretive centre offers a unique, interactive experience related to the mysterious world of the lobster and the ecosystem flourishing within the nearby Northumberland Strait. The Centre is operated by a non-profit organization dedicated to educating visitors about this fascinating but fragile species, and fostering awareness and research around sustainable lobster industry practices.

Addressing an important community need

You could say that lobster is the lifeblood of Shediac. Town resident William Blizzard was a 19th century pioneer in the lobster processing industry, while the name of another citizen, Émile Paturel, has been closely linked to this delectable seafood for over fifty years across Canada, the United States and Europe.

More recently, the Town has hosted a popular annual Lobster Festival since 1949. In addition, every year hundreds of thousands of visitors flock to Shediac to photograph the 90-ton “World's Largest Lobster” sculpture, located in the Rotary Park near the Homarus Eco-Centre.

In 2016, the Eco-Centre’s management team determined that the existing building, located at the Pointe-du-Chêne wharf, could no longer further develop its interpretation facilities. Thus, the team retained Englobe – the lead consultant for the Town of Shediac - to conduct a feasibility study relating to the construction of a new Facility. Two years later, Englobe received the green light to manage the design and construction of the new Homarus Centre, in collaboration with the Town.

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A comprehensive, thoughtful build

As lead consultant, Englobe formed a multidisciplinary team of professionals responsible for schematic design, design development, contract documents, and construction services.

During construction, the company provided project management as well as civil, mechanical, and electrical engineering, supported by architectural design and structural engineering design. The team also performed on-site inspection services through to substantial completion and prepared archival drawings as well as performed final commissioning of mechanical and integrated life safety systems. A phased construction plan was put in place to lessen the project’s impact on the tourist season, and allow for economical, efficient construction.

Our team was very pleased to work with the Town of Shediac, one of our most valued Atlantic Canada clients, to support its vocation as a major hub for research and education on lobsters.

David Simpson, Team Leader, Senior Project Manager

Education and research vocation

The new Homarus Centre focuses extensively on ensuring the sustainability of both the lobster industry and the species itself. The new building is approximately 1,081 m2 over two storeys, and includes a visitor centre, souvenir store, offices, and public washrooms for visitors to the Rotary Park. The project also includes a new parking lot for visitors and buses, as well as new landscaping.

The Centre houses a high-end coastal fisheries interpretation centre including several exhibition areas, aquariums, a touch pool, training rooms, and a theatre. A research laboratory and related facilities were added on the second floor to enable research to protect and boost the sustainability of lobster and other native marine species.

The project is scheduled to be fully completed by September 2022.

Englobe is one of Canada’s premier firms specializing in professional engineering services, environmental sciences, and soil and biomass treatment.