Steel Design


Fall 2019

Nerves of Steel in Inuvik, NWT: Galvalume™ Steel and Light Steel Framing provide Flexibility, Durability and Design Freedom in the North

There are many reasons why using steel products are beneficial to architects and builders everywhere, but one of the most useful reasons for steel in everyday design is because of its ability to handle extreme weather. The far North has a harsh climate, this includes bone-chilling cold temperatures that are not uncommon in places like the Northwest Territories and the sun and wind are very hard on materials.

Steel has a lot of flexibility, which provides plenty of design freedom. It’s a robust material, light-weight, durable, attractive and maintenance free. Buildings in northern, remote locations are a particular challenge, therefore the use of durable, prefinished and corrosion resistant steel is important, which is why steel was the choice when it came time to construct the new NorthwesTel Central Office.

The building was constructed of steel, which is prized for its durability and low-maintenance in the north. Both pre-painted and unpainted AZM150 GalvalumeTM coated steel cladding were used on the exterior. It’s a low-maintenance material proven to be good in the north.

Both pre-painted and unpainted AZM 150 GalvalumeTM coated steel was used on the exterior envelope. The cladding profile is Vicwest’s CL438, which is 22mm (7/8”) .61mm (.0239”) corrugated steel cladding. The light steel framing for the exterior walls is 1.22mm (.048”) structural LSF and the interior is .46mm (.018”). The roof is .61mm (.0239”) coloured QC56083 Deep Water Green in Vicwest’s Tradition 100 profile. The foundation for the building is steel piles, so as to not bother the permafrost.

Sheet steel cladding was used for both the roof and walls, while light steel framing was used for their durable, non-combustible qualities.

The result is a design that is practical, durable, efficient and flexible.

NorthwesTel 24 gauge Galvalume & 24 gauge Deep Water Green



Stantec 867-633-2400


Arctic Canada Construction Ltd. 867-873-2520


Vicwest 800-661-693


Groupe Conseil Sid Inc. 418-658-2266


61mm (.0239”) AZM150 GalvalumeTM coated steel


1.22mm (.048”) gauge 203mm (8”) wind bearing steel studs


.46 mm (.018”)


Technical Service Area 1.9mm (.075”)


.46mm (.018”) steel studs

Explore this issue:

Saskatoon Civic Operations Centre Steel Provides Energy Efficient Envelope

The impressive Saskatoon Civic Operations Centre is a LEED certified facility that serves as the home of Saskatoon Transit and the city’s first snow management location. The transit facility is 41,805m2 (450,000 sq. ft.) and has indoor storage for 224 buses. The snow management facility is situated on a 5.67 hectares (14 acre) concrete pad with the capacity to store up to 1,000,000m3 (35 million cubic feet) of snow.

“The City of Saskatoon wanted an innovative program on a site that they had attained,” said Gerry Garvin the Senior Contract Administrator in an interview with Steel Design magazine. “It is bounded on one side by the CN rail line and railyards, so it’s a fairly linear site and bus movement is paramount in moving […]


The Centre Sportif Marc-Simoneau is evocative of glaciers and ice

Pre-painted Z275 (G90) galvanized steel assists in ensuring perfect architectural integration. When the snow is piled up against its white, multi-faceted exterior, the Marc-Simoneau sports complex looks like an ice crystal, a chunk of glacier imbedded in the ground. The morphology of the main entrance results from an idea referring to the physical phenomena of glaciation and crystallization of water.

The volumetry of this complex suggests a jagged-shaped glacier, a fragmented snow block reflecting sunlight, a piece of frosted and translucent ice in the northern environment,” says Yan Laplante, associate architect with CCM2 Architects. The whole structure is extremely light, even considering the load consisting of the snow in winter, which is considerable in the […]


Community boasts net-zero energy with the help of sleek Pre-painted Galvalume Steel Exterior

The healthy homes of Grow Community, an urban neighborhood on Bainbridge Island, just a 35-minute ferry ride from Seattle, Washington. The project combines private cottages, townhomes and lofts available for purchase, along with rental flats and townhomes, with a total of 131 housing units on 2.2 hectares (5 acres). Homes are clustered in ‘pocket neighborhoods’ around pea patches and outdoor gathering areas.

Grow Community is a development that appeals to individuals and families looking to enrich their lives with environmental responsibility, while reaping the benefits of a high-quality, healthy lifestyle. Residents of this community boast zero carbon footprints and use sustainable transport, water, food and materials on a daily basis. Unique, sustainable and energy-efficient homes are built […]


Steligence®: The Intelligent Construction Choice

Steel has long been integrated into building construction and recognized as a significant material in traditional and modern building design. Steligence® is a research initiative delivering a range of fact based sustainability and cost benefits to architects, engineers, urban planners, real estate developers and construction contractors. Each benefit is individually attractive; together, they create a compelling argument for the use of steel products in construction.

In the case study presented here, a mid-rise office building in the GTA area was virtually designed using steel component construction and contrasted against concrete construction. The functionality of the building did not change; identical use, occupants, size, geographic location were critical in ensuring a responsible comparison. Life Cycle Assessments of the design scenarios were […]


Steel plays a significant role in the Renewal and New Construction of Terrace Sportsplex and Vanderhoof Aquatic Centre

Steel design has played a vital role in structures intended to revitalize their communities. The architects designed practical solutions to twinning the existing arena as the first step in the Terrace Sportsplex Project Revitalization. A pre-engineered steel building by Behlen Industries was used for the second arena, which provides an important training ice surface for hockey-crazy Terrace.

Through careful budget planning, interior improvements were made to the existing arena and Sportsplex. These improvements focused on improving spatial flow, both in the first and second floor entrance ways and in some exterior improvements, including replacing wood cladding. The project is strongly characterized by a cantilevered multipurpose space, designed to take advantage of Terrace’s […]