After a brief winter break, the construction of the Ecole Des Trois-Soleils in Iqaluit, Nunavut, resumed in March. However, the construction team faced several challenges due to record cold temperatures that delayed the remobilization on site for the 2023 construction season. Despite the majority of the exterior building envelope being completed before the winter break, the building was left unheated for several months, making it challenging to bring the building temperature up to working conditions for the interior construction. With temperatures reported as low as -70 deg. with the wind chill factor, reheating a building under construction during the middle of winter is not a simple task of just flipping a switch and running space heaters.
The high school and daycare expansion are being built in three phases, with each program area requiring a phased approach to reheat the building for interior construction to resume. As the interior temperature of the building was stabilized during the initial stages of remobilization, various trades resumed their work for 2023. Mechanical and electrical systems installation continues to be a significant portion of the interior work, with interior architectural elements such as boarding for the walls and ceiling installations beginning to take place.
In the winter months, with temperatures around -30 deg., several exterior elements of the building were completed including the exterior cladding and any remaining building envelope work. The team is excited to see the project progress towards the targeted completion at the end of this summer despite the challenging conditions. The project showcases the importance of construction and design in extreme climates, and the efforts made by Pilitak Enterprises Ltd. to overcome the challenges are commendable.
The Ecole Des Trois-Soleils is a testament to the ability of construction and design teams to overcome adverse weather conditions to deliver exceptional projects. The project will be an important addition to the community, providing high-quality education facilities for students in the region. As Arctic construction continues to grow, the lessons learned from projects like this will become increasingly important to the industry.