Vol. 51, Issue 2 • Commercial

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.

Jump to specs

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.