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Innovative steel bridges and buildings on show in Alberta awards

The Alberta section of the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction (CISC) has announced six winners in its 2013 awards. The CISC Awards are held every two years to recognize exception talent and ingenuity in steel design and construction.


The Alberta section of the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction (CISC) has announced six winners in its 2013 awards. The CISC Awards are held every two years to recognize exception talent and ingenuity in steel design and construction.

The Peace Bridge — a “stunning” structure spanning the Bow River in Calgary that was controversial when it was being built — won the 2013 Engineering Award, as well as the 2013 Steel Edge Award. Santiago Calatrava, an internationally renowned architect designed it and he was also the engineer together with Stantec Consulting. General contractor was Graham Infrastructure.

The pedestrian-cyclist bridge has become a popular spot for photo shoots and has become one of the prime meeting points in Calgary since it opened in May 2012. It links the communities of Sunnyside and Hillhurst with the city’s downtown core.

Constructed at a point in the river that is 120 metres wide and 6 metres deep, the bridge has a single 126-metre span. It is also beneath the flight path of Calgary’s downtown heliport, which meant the structural depth could only be 5.85 metres. The structure is a helix-shaped steel truss system developed over a semi-elliptical cross-section. It is symmetrical along the centre of the deck section, with the two identical halves connected at the top and bottom chords. The components were manufactured in different facilities in Spain and then assembled in an on-site shop by Norfab Manufacturing.

Another award-winner, also in Calgary and again involving Stantec, was TELUS Spark, the New Science Centre, which won the 2013 Architectural Award. The architect is DIALOG, and Stantec Consulting is the engineer. General contractor is CANA Construction.

The building has exposed steel since it was felt that it made sense that visitors would be able to see the structural components in a building devoted to learning. The atrium is capped with five trusses intersecting at varying angles, and ranging up to 200 feet in length. The complex geometry of the facility’s Dome Theatre features a roof slanting in two directions and a wall line sloping in two directions, all tying into a half-moon shaped concrete wall. The effect resembles a cube resting on one of its bottom corners. The structure is comprised of 2,057 individual pieces, no two alike.

The Edmonton Federal Building, Parkade and Centennial Plaza won the 2013 Building Communities Award. This project involves the renovation of a 70-year old Art Deco-style building that is one of the largest renovation projects ever undertaken in Edmonton. It includes the addition of a new west entrance pavilion and a new public plaza. Architect is Kasian. Engineer is Stantec Consulting. General contractor is Clark Builders.

The Suncor Tro Water Barges project won the 2013 Industrial Award. Designed for a remote Fort McMurray location, the project is a floating barge system with a 27,000 cubic-metre-per-hour pumping capacity system for its tailings reduction process. The architect is Hall Marine Design; the engineer and general contractor is Weir Minerals Canada

The 2013 Sustainability Award went to the Pembina Hall Student Residences at the University of Manitoba. The design involved a multi-truss span over the existing Pembina Hall service centre. The design incorporates four parallel, full-storey depth 50-m long trusses stacked 10 times. The engineer is Crosier Kilgour Partners; the architect is Raymond S.C. Wan and general contractor is Bird Construction.