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Best steel projects in Alberta earn kudos at 2011 Alberta Steel Design Awards of Excellence

Journal Of Commerce
Best steel projects in Alberta earn kudos at 2011 Alberta Steel Design Awards of Excellence
Art Gallery of Alberta

Alberta’s best steel construction projects recently basked in the limelight at the 2011 Alberta Steel Design Awards of Excellence.

Alberta's best steel construction projects recently basked in the limelight at an awards gala.

Five different projects were given 2011 Alberta Steel Design Awards of Excellence by the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction – Alberta Region.

Forty-five projects were nominated and competed in four categories and 10 finalists were named.

The winners were unveiled at a gala in Edmonton.

The Art Gallery of Alberta in Alberta’s capital was the winner of the Architectural Award.

Randall Stout Architects, Inc., HIP Architects and Associate Architect were the architects on the job.

The project, on the edge of the city’s downtown Churchill Square, was a renovation of the existing concrete building to create expanded, flexible, museum quality space for the gallery’s permanent collection and major traveling exhibitions.

Structural steel was the choice for the vertical addition, because it minimized the impact on the existing structure, reduced loads on the foundation, and provided unimpeded column-free interior space to maximize flexibility for exhibitions.

The entire addition is supported by only six columns located on the north and south perimeters.

The building envelope of the atrium is formed from angular, transparent glazing planes penetrated by curving, reflective metal-clad elements.

The Bow in Calgary won the Engineering Award.

Halcrow Yolles was the CISC engineer on the project.

The office tower is unique in North America in its application of a triangular steel diagrid system to a curved building.

The diagrid, composed of six-storey high diagonal elements, creates a perimeter frame of linked equilateral triangles curved to match the bow of the building on the north and south faces.  

“The curve had its own rationale,” said Stephen Carruthers, managing partner, Western Canada, Zeidler Partnership Architects.

“It also decreases the wind resistance that would be associated with a rectangular building of the same size. It’s an aerodynamic shape that allows the wind to slip around the curve, much like the wing of an airplane.”

The Dawson Bridge Rehabilitation in Edmonton was the winner of the 2011 Sustainability Award.

The five-span riveted steel through-truss bridge was originally built to carry electric trains to a coal mine on the east bank of the North Saskatchewan River.

After almost a century of use, the bridge needed significant repair, including total deck replacement and truss repainting.

The design team chose a lightweight composite steel plate and elastomer deck system using a technology originally developed for the marine industry and only recently applied to bridge construction. The system basically consists of two thin steel face plates connected by an injected elastomer core, for a total thickness of only 45 mm in the case of the Dawson Bridge.

“This deck system is light compared to a conventional deck system,” said Kris Lima, a structural engineer with Dialog, design consultant on the project.

“By using this system, we were able to reduce, by more than half, the number of members needing strengthening or replacement to bring the bridge up to current safety standards.”

The project was completed in a single construction season.

Shell Canada Energy Reactor Building Modifications was the winner of the 2011 Industrial Award.

The company wanted to convert a large empty pre-engineered steel building into a fabrication facility to support a scheduled shutdown and for future use.

The building was to accommodate three interior overhead crane runways supporting one five-ton, one 10-ton and two 20-ton cranes.

Shell specified that the support system was to be independent of the existing building structure.

In addition, the company wanted the system to achieve maximum hook height.    

“One of the early challenges was the special requirement to absolutely maximize the area of travel of the overhead cranes,” said Brian Watson, president of Eskimo Steel Ltd. and project manager.

“It was akin to trying to stretch a cube in three dimensions without touching the perimeter.”

The team’s solution was a series of three-dimensional tower columns made of HSS and recessed between the existing pre-engineered building columns.

The towers support not only the gravity loads, but also the lateral loads imposed by the cranes, eliminating the need for horizontal trusses and maximizing overhead crane span and lateral hook travel.

“This system is unique in that it’s totally free-standing,” he said.

The Whitemud Drive/Quesnell Bridge Widening Rehabilitation – Pier Cap Extensions won the Steel Edge Award, an open category demonstrating excellence in the application of steel design, fabrication, detailing or finishing.

The bridge is located on Edmonton’s busiest traffic corridor and traffic couldn’t be re-routed.

“We needed to design a system that would be cost effective, feasible and involve minimum construction time, while allowing traffic to continue to flow,” said Gary Kriviak, principal project consultant with CH2M HILL Canada Limited, prime consultants to the City of Edmonton on the project. 

Early analysis determined that there was some reserve capacity for additional weight on the existing piers and foundations, indicating that pier cap extensions were a feasible approach for supporting a widened bridge deck.

The Canadian Institute of Steel Construction (CISC) is the national industry organization representing the structural steel, open web steel joist and steel platework fabricating industries.


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