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Winnipeg library solves falling snow problem with unique roofing solution

DCN-JOC News Services
Winnipeg library solves falling snow problem with unique roofing solution
CITY OF WINNIPEG—Architects working on the Bill and Helen Norrie Library in Winnipeg had to find a roofing solution that would not only stop snow from building up but would also match the project's design.

WINNIPEG—The Bill and Helen Norrie Library in Winnipeg is prepared for the region’s harsh winters thanks to its design.

The city gets heavy snowfall for more than one-third of the year, prompting the project’s designer, LM Architectural Group to address the issue head on.

According to a case study by roofing product company S-5!, snow buildup and potential rooftop avalanches on the library’s new slick Agway AR 38 double-fold standing seam metal roof were a concern, especially at the south side of the building where there is a large public access area and an outdoor patio for seating. 

The outdoor seating area is located directly under the eaves of the roof, creating a potential risk of library visitors getting struck by falling snow or ice. 

The architect determined the library needed a snow retention system that would provide safety and one that would precisely match the new roof.

The project’s roofing contractor Claude Simard Metal Systems connected with S-5! distributor SkyProducts for an engineered snow retention system that could be custom powder-coated to match the roof. 

They chose S-5!’s DualGard snow retention system.

DualGard is a complete, two-pipe aluminum, snow guard system for almost any standing seam profile, in addition to corrugated and many trapezoidal, exposed-fastened roof profiles. 

SkyProducts worked with Protech-Oxyplast in Montréalto provide a precise colour matching powder-coated finish and texture to match the new grey metal roof.

Work on the city’s new $9.3-million, 14,000-square-foot Bill and Helen Norrie Library began in the fall of 2019 and replaced the original library which first opened in 1961 on land purchased from the local school board. 

The new state-of-the-art facility includes a multi-use public space, tutorial and programming rooms, an outdoor reading deck and activities area, a children’s area with three reading nook playhouses, a family literacy playground and more.

The project’s designers worked to recognize the history of the area in the building, including the Indigenous land where the library is now located. The facility features a pitched metal roof, wood panelling and earth tones, along with images of the area, interpretive panels, artifacts and books.


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