Excel-7 Ltd. was the design-builder for the construction of a 2,700 sqft. mixed-use building in the remote community of Rankin Inlet, Nunavut. The building features two commercial spaces on the main floor, and four two-bedroom apartments on the second floor. A shared common area with washrooms and a staircase is located in the center of the building.

To ensure optimal insulation and durability, we utilized ICE Panels (Insulated Composite Envelope) for the floor system, exterior walls, and roof system. These panels were supported by wood trusses, while the foundation was constructed using a steel Triodetic frame. This project marked our first venture into the remote location of Rankin Inlet, NU.

At our yard in Brandon, Manitoba, we compiled, inventoried, and packaged all the necessary building materials into sea cans. These containers were then shipped to the port for transportation. Our dedicated team was able to complete the building envelope in just 33 days. This included the construction of the Triodetic base and the two-story ICE Panel envelope, which involved fitting windows and exterior doors as well. Thanks to the superior insulation provided by the ICE Panel envelope, we were able to move indoors and continue working efficiently despite the challenging weather conditions. The owner proceeded with interior construction throughout the winter months and completed the exterior siding and roof metal in the spring of 2018.

Project Specifics

  • Foundation: A steel Triodetic frame was used for the foundation.
  • Exterior Walls: The exterior walls consist of 9.25″ Greenstone ICE Panels (R42) with exterior sheathing.
  • Interior Walls: consisted of 2″ x 4″ and 2″ x 6″ wood construction.
  • Second Floor Construction: constructed using Twin River HTS steel and wood composite floor joists. Also included was cavity-fill sound insulation, a subfloor, and fire-rated materials.
  • Roof: constructed using engineered wood and 9.25″ ICE Panels (R42) with ice and water shield for added protection.
  • Exterior Finishes: HardiePlank® siding and metal roofing.

Challenges and Successes

This was Excel-7’s first project in Nunavut. We tried something new by pre-packaging the entire building several months before arrival on site. It turned out to be a successful project, but we also identified some future improvement areas.

Mechanical and electrical system designs are quite different for Northern projects. Due to high maintenance costs, we only use certain brands and keep the designs very simple.

The weather was extremely challenging for our team. The sea lift was delayed by several weeks, which caused construction to start much later than expected. Mobilizing machinery and hand tools in November was also difficult. Thankfully, the Greenstone ICE Panels were instrumental in helping us complete the envelope in 2017.

If you’d like to learn more about Excel-7, connect with us by visiting exceldesignbuild.ca.