If you work in the energy sector you’ve heard of Alberta’s oil sands. Located in Western Canada, Alberta is a province with an abundance of natural resources. Oil sands are located in three major areas of northeast Alberta spanning hundreds of thousands of miles.
Over the last decade energy companies have migrated to the area in droves. While rich with natural beauty, the area can become extremely cold during the winter months with temperatures dropping below 40 degrees Celsius. The harsh climate can prove challenging for area workers. Often times energy firms need to establish temporary housing and work space to get their jobs done.
In an effort to create a home away from home environment, many energy companies turn to Williams Scotsman for all their space related needs. We wanted to share our work with the Firebag In-Situ Sands Project Camp in Alberta Canada. We are proud of our role in developing two workforce accommodations sites to meet the needs of both company management and construction personnel. We developed a 50-person permanent operators facility for use by management called the Caribou Lodge. The second set of buildings is a 600-person workforce accommodations site. The site consists of twelve dormitories, a kitchen and dining facility, and a recreation complex (pictured below). In order to withstand the intense arctic winters the walls have an R30 rating, the roof and floors have R40 ratings, windows are Argon filled low-E (triple paned) glass, and the roofs have a snow load of 100 PSF with a 3 to 12 ratio on the roof pitch for snow dispersion. All buildings are energy efficient with electricity, plumbing, and air conditioning. Also, natural gas is extracted from the ground nearby to heat and cool every building.
Keeping buildings warm in the winter and cool in the summer is of paramount importance. Also important are the interior features to enhance the living environment for company staff. The interior space of the large workforce site features a number of unique architectural details such as 21-foot vaulted ceilings and a 50-person theater with a sloped floor. In addition, the Caribou Lodge was built to provide the same level of amenities as a top-rated hotel. Other features include fireplaces, faucets with water- conserving taps, maple and solid oak furniture, satellite TV, fitness center, and each bedroom is equipped with an Internet connection.
Williams Scotsman provided 119,864 sf of space on time and on budget. What’s your experience working in Alberta’s oil sands?