Steel Design


Fall 2019

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 con- ducted using the ArcelorMittal Steligence® Life Cycle Analysis application tool, winner of the world steel association’s award for ‘Excellence in Life Cycle Assessment’, at the 9th annual Steelie Awards in 2018. This award recognizes the best use of life cycle thinking for overall environmental improvement in marketing and/or regulatory influence, project application, and new product development.

Cost benefits of the steel component design were obtained from Order of Magnitude Estimates by Altus Expert Services, a leading provider of construction cost planning services.

One of the leading key benefits for steel component construction is reduced weight of the building. Weight reduction is significant, as it can influence both sustainability and cost factors. In our virtual office building, the steel solution was 48% lighter than the concrete construction. This reduced weight led to a 27% cost savings for the building foundations and contributed to multiple environmental impact reductions. In addition to the foundation savings, cost savings were also realized for the roof system, with 51% cost savings using a steel roof deck over a cast-in-place concrete roof deck.

Similarly, a composite steel floor deck is 30% more cost effective than cast-in-place concrete. When considering the virtual buildings from a holistic view, encompassing the sub- structure, superstructure, façade, roof, interior and services, 9% overall cost savings were achieved with our steel design.

Reduction of embodied carbon in buildings, which includes the emissions associated with extraction of raw materials, component manufacturing, transportation and construction site processes, is increasingly important as building operational emissions are reduced. As buildings become increasingly energy efficient, as regions move to low carbon electricity grids, the reduction of embodied carbon can help achieve shorter term emissions reduction targets.

In our virtual office building, a 36% reduction in embodied carbon was achieved with the steel component construction. A similar effect was found for other embodied resources, with a 32% reduction in embodied energy consumption and 60% reduction in embodied water consumption.

By using a holistic approach to building construction, Steligence® is allowing us to demonstrate the cost effective- ness and sustainability inherent in steel products for building construction.

The virtual building was designed with a central concrete core containing elevators, egress stairways, washrooms, floor mechanical unit, electrical and communication rooms. The structure is steel with composite floor decking and steel roof decking with PMR system. The exterior is clad with a mix of curtain wall and steel panel systems. For the contrasted concrete construction, cast in place reinforced concrete slabs and cast in place reinforced columns were used in the design, with precast exterior walls replacing the steel panel systems.

ArcelorMittal Project Team:



Karen Bell, Project Leader


Kamran Derayeh, Principal Projects Manager


Stan Lipkowski, Projects Manager


Jacob Rouw, Projects Manager


Frédéric Delcuve Portfolio Director Construction Applications


José Humberto Matias de Paula Filho Project Leader Building & Structure


Tim Smith, MPa Consulting, Oakville 416-317-0670


Adamson Associates Architects, Toronto 416-967-1500


RJC Engineers, Toronto 416-977-5335


Altus Expert Services, Toronto 416-641-9500

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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]