Construction workers at steel building build-to-suit kit for the future
A new building kit for building to suit the changing needs of the 21st century is being developed by engineers at the University of Alberta.
The university says it is the first time that an engineering firm has been awarded a federal building design contract to help develop a new type of building kit, a move that could have far-reaching implications for future urban and regional development.
The kits, which have been in the works for more than two decades, will be used to make all kinds of structures including office buildings, townhouses, and more.
The kit is designed to meet the needs of building owners, architects, contractors, engineers and other engineers who want to add a little something to their existing buildings.
“The way we build is very different from what it was in the past, but the kit is a perfect solution for that,” said Steve McManus, a professor of civil engineering at the university.
“We’re designing a building kit that can accommodate a lot of different building needs and will have all of the features of a modern, modern building without the complexity and the expense of a traditional building.”
The university has received a $7.8-million grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
It is the largest federal research project on building materials and a significant first for the province.
McManus says the kit could make a major difference in building communities across the country, particularly in the West.
“This is a very large undertaking that could save a lot on the cost of building and the cost to the taxpayer of doing it,” he said.
The federal government is expected to award the $1.9-billion contract in the coming weeks.
It has not yet announced a price tag.