Modular Building Institute

Kugaaruk Modular Classrooms

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Main Category:
Modular Building Design
RG Solution
Kugaaruk, Nunavut
Building Use:
Gross Size of Project:
6500 Square Feet
Days to complete:

Award Criteria

  1. Architectural Excellence
    On March 1st, 2017, citizens of the community of Kugaaruk, Nunavut, Canada woke up with sad news. Their school had just disappeared under the flames. For this community located north of the Arctic Circle of 900 inhabitants, more than 300 students and nearly 50 employees were directly affected by this tragedy. Since the only way to send construction materials to site is by boat (only 2 boats per year), the target was to have the modules loaded on the boat for July 24th, facing an extremely tight turnaround timeline and fast track schedule. Because of its location, the architectural and structural design was made to be able to support high building stress going through ground transportation to Port, craned on to the ship, sail 3 weeks on the high seas, get unloaded with crane on a barge, brought to shore and pulled out from barge with loader and delivered to its final destination. The complex includes 5 classrooms of 1125 S.F. (25’x45’) with 44’ free spam and common corridor.
  2. Technical Innovation & Sustainability
    The classroom complex was installed on special tripods adapted for the Arctic since we cannot install on foundation. Installing on permafrost we have to ensure the ground remains frozen at all time. The protective grilling all around the complex is to prevent wild animals from going underneath the building. Having to perform in extreme cold weather conditions, the building energetic performance is of most importance. Building as we do in Southern Canada or in the USA for this region would deteriorate rapidly. The building was designed and built to perform in extreme cold weathers where temperatures get as low as -76o Fahrenheit (or -60o Celsius) and go through ground blizzards. As electricity is very limited in those communities and extremely expensive, the selected heating system is hydronic with glycol baseboard.
  3. Cost Effectiveness
    Those classrooms were built as temporary and to be relocatable until they build a new school. The customer, Government of Nunavut (GN), now has the ability to move those classrooms from a community to another to meet evolving and changing needs. Speed was the most important criteria. Under conventional construction approach, this project simply could not be achieved in the respect of the very short schedule. This meant allowing kids not to miss school for a full year. Considering cost of flying workers, lodging and meals for conventional construction on site, the modular approach translated into cost effectiveness for the GN. To increase even more that effectiveness, we did at the plant all plastering with finish painting, installation of blinds, boards, projectors, sound system, and putting furniture in.
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