Posts Tagged 'Construction'

Canada Builds One of the World’s Largest Radio Telescopes

Satellite. Image Source: Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory.

Satellite. Image Source: Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory.

Canada is making construction headlines as it prepares to build one of the largest radio telescopes in the world, and the largest in the country. The telescope will span full-sized NHL hockey rinks.

The radio telescope is known as the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity-Mapping Experiment (CHIME) is the first telescope of its kind to be built in Canada in 30 years and will stand in Penticton, BC, in the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory (DRAO). This is, according to astrophysicist Gary Hinshaw, the best location for this project.

The experiment will cost $11 million, but according to lead investigator Kris Sigurdson, this is a small price to pay for understanding why the universe is expanding. With the radio telescope, scientists hope to make a three-dimensional picture of the universe.

The telescope will have a 100 meter by 100 meter collecting area with 2,560 low-noise receivers. Within five years, twenty five percent (25%) of the universe will be mapped by the telescope in a complex process that starts with the collection of the signals and its digital sampling at a rate of one billion times per second.

The expansion of the universe at a rapid rate has been noted in the 1920s by astronomer Edwin Hubble back in the 1920s. Until now, no scientific research had backed these claims. The goal of the telescope is to find out what is responsible for this accelerated expansion of the universe.

Funding for the project will come from the Canada Foundation for Innovation and will gather scientists from McGill University, the University of Toronto, and the University of British Columbia.

With the radio telescope project, once again, Canada proves itself as a world-class leader in construction.



Toronto Leads in High Rise Building Construction, Followed by Calgary and Vancouver

Toronto. Image Source: Public domain.

Toronto. Image Source: Public domain.

Toronto, the biggest city in Canada, is proving itself to be a leader in the modern construction. The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has just released a report entitled “Canada Rising” stating that Toronto is currently leading construction starts in the Western world with regard to new buildings at least 150 meters tall.

With 15 skyscrapers currently under construction, Toronto will probably hold on to its title for quite some time. Just in 2005, Toronto had 13 buildings with 45 storeys and now it currently holds the record for the most number of tall buildings with 30 high rises under construction. By 2015, this number will have more than tripled as a total number of 44 in construction.

Calgary is a runner-up with 14 tall buildings, followed by Vancouver.

By 2015, tall buildings in Canada will have numbered 74—from merely 27 in 2001. Just last 2012, Canada saw four buildings of up to at least 200 meters built.

The rising number of tall buildings is but a sign of urban sustainability of Canada. According to Executive Director Dr. Antony Wood of CTBUH, “Canada is reshaping its urban centers and tall buildings are playing a large role. Canada is at the forefront of discussions about density, transportation and urban sustainability.”

The tall building boom should come as no surprise, as Canada recently experienced an increase in tall buildings because of the expansion of condominium apartments in the country. Back in 2001, 26 out of the 27 tall buildings were either hotels or office buildings. This time, 15 out of the 15 tall buildings under construction are residential. 8 out of the 9 tall buildings that were completed in 2012 were residential as well.

But quantity in tall buildings is not the only badge of pride Canada should wear, because its quality is far from second-rate.

Canadian Construction Projects and Building Jobs on the Rise

Crane. Image: Public domain.

The construction industry in Canada has never been better. Thanks to a concerted effort of the government and the private sector, more construction projects and jobs are being created.

Surge in Construction Projects in April 2012

The construction industry in Canada is on a roll, as April saw a surge in construction projects. The residential market benefited the most from this surge, as housing rose by 14% with 244,900 units created, consisting of mostly urban apartments and condos.

According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, multiple urban starts on apartments and condos rose by 27.4% to a total of 158,500. This is the highest record since 2007.

The heated residential construction sector is due to the rise in demand in the latter half of 2011. Incredibly low mortgage rates are also the reason behind the residential construction boom. It also shows the strong sales of multi-unit condominium and apartment projects. Urban single-family homes also rose up by 0.6% at 67,000 units.

Economists expect that the acceleration of building activity will not stop, but will probably grow at a more sustainable pace.

Canadian Construction Employment also Show Healthy Growth

Because of the surge of construction projects, the employment in the construction industry also showed positive growth. In fact, as of 2012 May 31, 7.42% of the country’s workforce were made up of construction jobs. This is the highest record since 1975. This is in stark comparison to the US, where building jobs are at a record low of 4.18% since 1946.

The reason behind the boom in building jobs in Canada can be attributed not only to the rise of the residential market sector, but also to a stimulus package by the Canadian government. This package includes spending on long-term infrastructure and therefore the creation of more jobs.  And apparently, the stimulus package is working well as there is no sign of recession in several parts of the country. More importantly, the Canadian Construction Association points out that there are around 30 construction projects worth C$1 billion from the government and natural resource companies.

Steel Warehouse Buildings

As long as you have the right tools and correct guidelines, building a steel warehouse building can be easy.  Warehouse designs are more advanced and available as they were not in the past.  A good manufacture will provide features that will make your planning and constructing process easy.

There are a few factors that will influence the design of your steel warehouse building.  Below, you will find a few key factors that you must consider before  constructing. The first one is building code, you must make sure that you know your local code information. You can find this out by calling your local building department and telling them that you would like to build a metal building at the given location. It is up to you, as the customer, to give the metal building supplier the final code information. It’s also a good idea to look into the setbacks and other code information that may prohibit the use of a metal building or any building on a given lot.

The second factor is the building dimensions of the building. Gather the dimensions of your warehouse building and indicate where you would like to have doors and windows and what color walls, roof and trim you want to have as well as the height of the building. This is extremely important when constructing a warehouse building, as doors must be the right size for large machinery and the dimensions will determine what inevitably can fit inside your warehouse. When it comes to the height of your building, please don’t forget to consider these two factors which are the overall height measured on the outside and the interior clearance.

Roof pitch – The dimensions of your roof are important to consider when constructing your  building.  Take a look at both the shape and the pitch of the roof as rigid frame metal buildings can come with several types of roofing options. Here are some options of roofs: a single slope roof construction starts with one side wall higher than the other and the roof simply slants from the high wall to the lower. A peaked or gable roof is more of a traditional peak with the roof running down both sides.

There are a few more things to consider, once the design of your building is complete. The first thing is engineering.  Once the basic design is complete and you’ve paid a deposit, an engineer needs to create the specifications and blueprints for the building. The next step is fabrication and delivery- This is when the production begins. The beams, posts, girders, side and roof panels, and even the fasteners to hold the building together are all produced at a factory, then shipped to your construction site. Next, site work – this is when the building site can be readied and foundations are poured. Now the last step!  It’s time to build.  When the components arrive and foundation is ready, construction can take place. This can be done by you, or you can hire an erector to put up your steel building. When finishing up your building, this will require insulation, interior walls, exterior finishes, doors and windows.  Finally, when all is complete and your building is up and running, you must have a building inspector approve your steel warehouse building.

For more information on constructing a steel building, please visit us at



LinkedIn For Safety

For those of you who are looking for online resources that cater to workplace safety, we at Norsteel Buildings would like to suggest visiting LinkedIn.

LinkedIn has earned a reputation as an effective online resource for professionals to connect and network. But what many people don’t realize, even people who log in on a daily basis, is that LinkedIn really can provide a wealth of information on hot topics in most industries. Construction is no exception to this fact. To give you an idea of what you might find, there is a group called Safety Training. In their own words, The Safety Training  Group is devoted to Safety, Human Resources and Training Professionals who must meet the challenge of training employees in safety and hazard control.

Once you join this group, or any other construction related group on LinkedIn, you can pose safety related questions, join in discussions with your peers, and even post or read industry specific information and news items. As an example of the useful items you will find in this group, there is a link to the OSHA handbook (top right to download pdf, after you click on the link). There is also links to the video series of Caterpillar’s Safety Basics. The Safety Training Group on LinkedIn has also started a subgroup called Social Networking 101 to help people within the industry learn from each other.

If you have not yet joined LinkedIn, we suggest you take a moment to do so. Become part of this online community and benefit from networking and learning opportunities.

Insuring your safety with, what else, a Safety web

I know we’ve visited this topic before in a previous blog (Norsteel Roof Systems, Safety Web), but I think, given the seriousness of the construction safety issue, that it is worth taking another look at. A large amount of time and money has been spent world wide on developing safe systems of work in recent years and the attention has paid off by greatly reducing the risks of falling during construction work.
The more widespread use of safety nets has had its impact on the steel construction industry and is one of the major contributions to the improved safety record of the steelwork industry associated trades. Previous FASET (Fall Arrest Safety Equipment Training) survey statistics reported that there were 56 falls into netting, 40 from roof-workers – and that’s only the ones that were reported. Sobering news, and a great reason to look harder at the benefits of adding safety netting to your steel buildings project.

A safety net is ideal for use at construction sites to prevent objects (including yourself or your workers/helpers) from falling far if the safety lines are not in use. Best yet, once the roof is completed, the safety netting can remain in place as exterior insulation.

Contact us for information on how we can help ensure your steel building project concludes safely.

Roofing Options for Your Construction Project

skylightThis is the third of three blogs discussing your green building from the ground up. Our first blog was about green flooring options, the second was about wall options, and today we will discuss green roofing options. That’s right. You’ve pretty much completed the interior of your project, and made it nice and cozy, so why not let the sunlight in!

When you want to give your building a great new green look, you can either go solar, or, if you’re not quite ready to commit to solar paneling, then you’ll want to think about skylights and other types of natural ventilation specifically selected for steel buildings. There are many choices, so think about including some great skylights to help bring the natural light in. With an easy installation and a maximum light transmission, you will have brightened up even your gloomiest of days.
For natural ventilation, add louver panels, adjustable ridge vents, or mechanical ventilators and you’ll have added low cost aids to control temperature and humidity.