Steel Design


Fall 2019

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 vehicles out in the morning and midday and then bringing them back between crucial periods of bus service.” The city has proposed Phase II for this site – Garvin added that the project took roughly three years to complete. “We commenced in January 2014 and we turned the project over to the client in November of 2016.”

Steel was a main component in the construction materials for this project because it was a material that was versatile enough to use for the designs. “Steel allowed us to provide bigger bays for bus movement, it just makes it easier to move the buses around the facility,” said Garvin. “Then, with the increased height which was required both in the storage area and in the maintenance areas, steel was just a more viable product.”

The SCOC exterior responds to the City of Saskatoon’s principles of quality, durability, security, maintainability and accessibility while considering the contextual balance between Saskatoon’s rural and urban environments. Both the Brownstone and Sandstone paint colours on the exterior envelope have a Kynar finish, as it helps protect the paint from fading due to elements such as UV rays.
the objective being to promote cooperation and coordination between services, facilitate the sharing of resources as well as improve operational efficiency.

So what makes the materials used for the operations centre so effective? Steel Design magazine reached out to Geoff Searle, the Western Canadian Sales and Marketing Manager for Metl-Span, the manufacturers of the insulated metal panels used for the projects exterior envelope.

“The main advantage to using the insulated panel, especially in the cold prairie climate, is efficiency,” said Searle. “You can put up a very thin panel that will give you an effective R-Value of over 22.”

Improving cooperation and coordination between services. The project was completed two weeks ahead of schedule and on budget. It is expected to deliver value for taxpayer dollars equivalent to $92.3 million over the life cycle of the facility

Searle added that these 1,066.8mm (42-inch) wide, by 76.2mm (3”) thick, panels could be used for hoarding so the contractor can work throughout the year and when the building is done you still have the efficiency against the elements that it provides. The majority of the panels were 11.6m (38’) in length with some of them closer to 12.5m (41’).

For the exterior face of the insulated steel panels .61mm (.0239”) pre-painted G-90 galvanized steel was used and .45mm (.0179”) pre-painted G90 galvanized was used on the interior surface.

For the exterior coating two colours were used. The darker colour is the Brownstone and the lighter is Sandstone,” said Searle. He added that both had a Kynar finish as it helps protect the paint from fading due to elements such as UV rays.

The interior is Igloo White, which is a polyester finish and does not have the clear coat on it, as it is not needed.

“At the very front of the building, where the office is, we used an actual blue cladding system. The remainder of the building is all insulated panels.” said Searle. Searle is a big supporter for insulated panels, for many reasons, one being the environment. “Even though we are using polyurethane, which is obviously a petroleum-based insulation, the insulation value of that product is the best bang for your buck,” he said. “In other words you are getting an R-value of 7.3 per one inch of thickness. Metl-Span has been in business since 1968 and we have panels that were made in 1968 that are still standing on buildings today.”

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


City of Saskatoon


Ellis Don 306-343-2022


Kasian Architecture 403-513-5636


Fengate Capital Management 416-488-4184


Maintenance Design Group 720-473-5904


Stephenson Engineering (Ontario) 416-635-9970 x 141


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Parsons 403-351-6215


MMM Group 403-269-7440 x 4629


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