Case Study: How Pre-engineered Buildings Can Help Higher Education

Case Study: How Pre-engineered Buildings Can Help Higher Education

The new pre-engineered building at Okanagan College in Penticton will house the school's welding program.

The demand for skilled trades workers in British Columbia continues to grow, and it’s showing no signs of relenting in the near future. To help train the next wave of our provincial workforce, Okanagan College in Penticton recently had Metal Structure Concepts (MSC) erect a pre-engineered building to expand the school’s welding program.

The college’s welding program has been around since 2007 and has trained more than 150 students in that time. It increased the number of intakes in 2015 to keep up with demand, despite the slumping oil industry at the time.

The new welding shop is a steel building measuring a modest 50x60 feet. The general contractor for the project was Faction Projects out of Kelowna, with MSC supplying and installing the building.

While the project took more than four months to plan, it took a crew of three experienced MSC workers just two weeks to erect the pre-engineered building using standard equipment, such as:

  • Crane
  • Manlifts
  • Telehandler

“It was a pretty tight timeline,” says MSC principal Steve Ivanitz, noting that the project was completed in early spring of 2018. “They needed us to install it and get out of their hair as fast as possible. 

“The client and general contractor are very happy with the work we’ve done, and we’re pleased with the result as well.”

This is the first time MSC has worked with Faction, and given the shared success, it likely won’t be the last.


Customization at Every Corner

In addition to being economical, steel buildings are also highly customizable, and this project is a great example of that. Some of the key features of this design include:

  • 3 custom canopies
  • Custom bracing to accommodate requested openings
  • Custom tie-in work to connect with adjacent block building

Furthermore, MSC used its own welders, who are certified by the Canadian Welding Bureau (CWB), to install the interior mezzanine level for this project. It’s an example of the type of position Okanagan College students might fill after they’ve completed their training.

Despite the smaller size of this project, it presented a number of design challenges and timeline constraints that required us to be at our best. As always, we were up to the task.


Comfortable, Climate-controlled Environment

To ensure students can train in a comfortable environment, the building called for high-end insulated metal roof (four-inch, R31.5) and wall (three-inch, R23.6) panels. Whether it’s winter or summer semester, they’ll be able to focus on their training.


For more case studies, read our post: Customizing a Pre-Engineered Steel Building Auto Shop.


If you have a building project in mind, talk to Metal Structure Concepts about the benefits of pre-engineered buildings—1-877-840-4278.