As part of Edmonton’s LRT Network Plan, the Valley Line LRT is a 27-kilometre, low-floor urban line that will operate between Mill Woods and Lewis Farms in Edmonton, Alberta. The line, which will cross through the downtown, will help to alleviate traffic congestion and provide safe, accessible transit alternatives to Edmonton’s southeast commuters.
Key elements of the urban LRT system will include smaller-scale stops spaced closer together. A conscious effort is also being put on integrating the LRT into their surroundings – which includes integrating visual elements that minimize intrusion and investing in aesthetics to fit within an urban environment. This is precisely why the architecture of even the utility buildings had to complement the existing neighbourhoods.
From the outside, these utility buildings will blend right in with the residential area. But from within the walls, the buildings will house the large electrical units that will supply the power to operate the LRT grid.
Designed as beautiful brick buildings, the architect at IBI Group wanted the look of solid brick without the price tag and masonry delays that would come with it.
When TransEd contacted AP Infrastructure Solutions LP to provide them with a budget, AP Infrastructure Solutions LP knew that a thin-brick wall panel would meet their architectural needs, without compromising their tight delivery schedule.
A uniquely practical solution, the walls are solid precast with a thin-brick veneer cast right into the panel. The team at AP Infrastructure Solutions LP worked with IBI on their building design to improve the precast components, ensuring each of the 19 panels could be assembled flawlessly.
“A lot of consultation took place before we cast the first wall,” says Ak Abougosh, Senior Sales Representative at AP Infrastructure Solutions LP. “We wanted to be sure that our clients would be happy with the finished product – so that when the panels arrived on site, there would be zero issues.”
The extra upfront time and consideration has certainly paid off. The moment the steel structure of the building is completed, the walls arrive onsite and are ready for installation, just like clock-work.
ThreeOSix, the installation contractor, has installed all of the panels for a building in a single day. That is19 panels, each weighing in at 7700 kg, which are all hoisted and secured in place within a days’ work.
Currently under construction, there will be 9 of these transformer utility buildings in total upon completion at the end of 2018.