Thursday, 29 October 2015

Project Profile: Vale Health and Wellness Centre

Steel Building System Meets Unique Design Requirements

Vale Health and Wellness Centre - Port Colborne, Ontario

Architects: MacLennan, Jaunkalns, Miller Architects (MJMA) 
General Contractors: Aquicon Construction 
Structural Engineer: Blackwell Structural Engineers 
Landscape Architect: PMA Landscape Architects Ltd. 
Steel Building Supplier: Steelway Building Systems 

The Port Colborne Vale Health and Wellness Centre is an expression of artistic design made possible by the use of steel as its main component. A custom-designed, pre-engineered steel building, VALE, as it is known, is a 13,000m2 (145,000 sq. ft.) multi-use facility that includes two NHL size rinks, a walking/ jogging track for all season use, six outdoor bocce courts and, through partnership with the YMCA of Niagara, an aquatic centre with a 25m (82 ft.) lap pool, leisure pool, gymnasium and fitness area.

“Steel was always considered as the primary structure,” explains Robert Allen, MacLennan, Jaunkalns Miller Architects, “as the principle program elements – arenas, gym and aquatics – all require long spans. The building design is unique in that the pre-engineered long span frames are used throughout the building. They have been carefully designed in order to create soaring interior spaces with plentiful natural light.”

The building features sloped sidewalls, skewed end walls and the primary exterior cladding element consists of sheet steel panels. “All roof and wall cladding is prepainted Galvalume AZ150, coloured QC18783 Bright White,” notes Bryan Hernandez, Sales Manager, Steelway Building Systems. The walls are .76mm (.0299”), struc seal wall cladding, AZM150 Galvalume substrate. The roof is .61mm (.0239”), RTL-24 profile roof panels, AZM150 Galvalume substrate and the roof liner is storm seal profile .61mm (.0239”), AZM150 Galvalume substrate. According to Bryan, the building consists of 871,577 kg (1,921,500 lbs.) of steel. 

“Steel was chosen due to its economy as well as its ease and speed of erection,” emphasizes Robert Allen, adding that the recycled content of the steel was a contributing factor in the building being recognized with LEED NC 2009 recycled content credits 4.1 and 4.2. Ben McDermott, Port Colborne YMCA Centre Manager has been enthusiastic about the new facility, located on Elizabeth Street in Port Colborne, since it opened in February 2013. Noting that it offers around 300 hours of programming per week to people of all ages and abilities, Ben emphasizes, “What the Centre brings to the City of Port Colborne is the gift of health. We want communities to be healthy, vibrant and we are here for the long term. This is a fully accessible charitable organization – no one is turned away.” 

VALE offers many benefits to the City of Port Colborne by continuing the YMCA’s tradition of helping to strengthen families, building volunteerism and charitable giving and increasing health and wellness.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Steel allows house to also be a sculpture

Original Article posted on Domain on October 20, 2015
Click to go to full article - Grand Designs steel house throws away the rule book

Scottish-born Sydney-based advertising creative Scott Lawrie, who has a fine arts background, drew his architectural inspiration from a sculpture by Gemma Smith.

Lawrie says he liked the way the form of the sculpture changed as he walked around it.

“I thought, what if I could get a house that looked like this – a house that would change as you walked around,” he says.

He told me the roof and walls would all be metal and that’s when it became a piece of sculpture. - Owner, Scott Lawrie

“I told Paul to make me nervous when he came back with the designs, and he did. But then he told me the roof and walls would all be metal and that’s when it became a piece of sculpture.”

Clarke’s design wrapped the roof and sides of the steel-framed house in stainless steel, while providing a dark-stained cedar front entry and a fully glazed wall and sliding doors at the rear to maximise the view.

The unconventional shape created the third drama – the challenge of a build where no angles were regular, the walls sloped and nothing was square. Because the house needed to be strong enough to withstand gale-force winds, almost four tonnes of steel was required for the framing.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

CFSEI Publishes New Technical Note on Load Path Considerations for Cold-Formed Steel Light-Frame Construction

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 6, 2015 —The Cold-Formed Steel Engineers Institute (CFSEI) has published a new Technical Note, “Chase the Loads: Load Path Considerations for Cold-Formed Steel Light-Frame Construction” (Tech Note G200-15). It provides insights into the complex vertical and lateral load path considerations for cold-formed steel framing, including the structural configuration and system effects that can result in load sharing, partial composite action, influence of assumed non-load bearing partition walls, and a redistribution of forces.
Additionally, the Technical Note “Design for Splicing of Cold-Formed Steel Wall Studs” (Tech Note W106-15a) has been updated to incorporate necessary changes to some of the calculations published in the original document. It covers design methods for the splicing of two cold-formed steel studs in a curtain wall or interior nonstructural wall condition. It replaces “Design for Splicing of Cold-Formed Steel Wall Studs” (Tech Note W106-15). 
These Technical Notes are the latest in CFSEI’s continuing series of instructional documents on topics related to cold-formed steel framing for commercial and residential construction. They are available free of charge to CFSEI members at Non-members can purchase them at the AISI Steel Store. For more information on joining CFSEI, visit
CFSEI maintains a Steel Framing Hotline to answer inquiries from construction professionals seeking cold-formed steel solutions for their projects. Suggestions for additional Technical Note topics are welcomed. The Steel Framing Hotline is accessible at 1-800-79-STEEL.  
The Cold-Formed Steel Engineers Institute comprises hundreds of structural engineers and other design professionals who are finding a better way to produce safe and efficient designs for commercial and residential structures with cold-formed steel. CFSEI members work together to develop and evolve industry standards and design methods, produce and issue technical bulletins, and provide seminars and online training to improve the knowledge and skills base of engineers and design professionals. For more information, visit
Maribeth Rizzuto, LEED AP-BD+C
Managing Director
Cold-Formed Steel Engineers Institute
Tel: 412.458.5821
Debbie Bennett
Manager, Construction Communications
Steel Market Development Institute
Tel: 202.452.7179

Thursday, 1 October 2015

SMDI Announces Launch of New Website Dedicated to Using Steel for Building Construction

The Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI), a business unit of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), has launched a new website that focuses on using steel for building construction. The new site, located at, provides information for engineers, architects, owners, building contractors, code officials and other construction professionals; allows easy access to design resources; directs users to additional steel construction associations with information on cold-formed steel framing, structural steel framing, steel deck, steel joists, metal building systems, and metal roof and wall systems; and provides a tool for users to contact cold-formed steel framing professionals with individual project questions.

“The new website evolved in response to requests from users of for general and technical information focused on building construction,” said Robert J. Wills, P.E., Vice President, Construction Market Development, SMDI. “We also wanted to provide a platform where building professionals could quickly find technical information on a variety of steel construction products from our partner associations.” Wills said that information for other SMDI construction programs such as steel bridges, utility poles and pipe/tank markets is still located at

The new website,, includes these categories:
  • About Our Program - Includes information on proposals and positions to advance the steel industry in the construction marketplace under the principles of fairness, transparency and performance; introduces AISI staff and steel construction partners; and provides updated industry news.
  • Why Choose Steel – Explores key benefits of steel including durability, strength/resilience, fire safety, product transparency, sustainability, energy efficiency, economic value, and adaptability and reuse. 
  • Build Using Steel – Provides quick access to information related to cold-formed steel framing, structural steel framing, metal building systems, steel joists, steel deck, and metal roof and wall systems. It also provides links to the steel associations representing these products and their design guides/manuals/aids, research, webinar /seminar schedules and case studies. 
  • AISI Design Resources – The library of AISI design resources is included here, with information on design guides/manuals/aids and standards, errata, research reports, papers and articles and a publications archive. The Ask an Expert section is included for users to receive personalized responses to their cold-formed steel framing project inquiries. 
  • Contact Us – Provides access to the Ask an Expert section.