In 2008, NRB teamed up with Xstrata Nickel to design, build and commission a 60,000 sq. ft. Administration/Dry facility; the first LEED® Gold certified project for both companies in Canada – and one of the first ever for the commercial modular construction industry. The decision to switch the project delivery method from traditional “on-site” to modular “off-site” was reached when it became apparent that it was the only way to meet a crucial completion schedule of January 2009. The modular construction process undertaken by NRB completed the project for the owner in less than half the time of conventional, with a significantly less disturbance to the site.
The structural steel post and beam construction used with pre-poured concrete floors provides much needed strength and flexibility to the building. Lifting eyes are engineered into each module to ensure the units were installed quickly and efficiently. Spray foam insulation was applied to the exterior of the walls within vertical and horizontal “Z” girts to ensure optimal thermal protection while moving the dew point away from the building interior. Some key design features which allowed the obtaining of LEED Gold certification includes the high efficiency heating systems, superior insulation of the building envelope, water conserving plumbing fixtures and high use of recycled materials in the build.
While the Operations Center and Dry Facility were designed with a more industrial look and feel to match existing surface structures, the two-story administration area that houses all Xstrata Nickel executives and personnel was designed with an exterior appearance resembling a jagged rock-face that can be seen in the mine sites natural surroundings.