The design concept for the Pembina Hall Residence was no small feat: build two slender 14 storey towers at each end of the building with sufficient strength to support a 10 storey high residence block; incorporate 36 rooms on each level; have the residence block span 50 metres over the existing Pembina Hall.

The structure rises 57.2 metres above grade, extends almost 80 metres in an east/west direction, and is only 13.3 metres wide in a north/south direction – making it very slender. The answer to the long span direction could only be in steel: 4 parallel full-storey depth, 50m long trusses stacked 10 times.

The challenge was to:


  • Execute the project within the University’s Project Domino budget.

  • Complete the design, tendering, construction, and certification of a complex $40,000,000 facility in less than 30 months, in order for students to take residence in September of 2011.

  • Have the design take into account that site access is very difficult , with essentially no lay down area for the contractor to be able to work from.

  • Construct the building to maintain safety to the occupied Pembina Hall beneath, as well as to the thousands of students and staff that pass by the site every day


The structure consisted of:

  • Four parallel full-storey depth 50m trusses per floor

  • Two interior trusses hidden in corridor walls

  • Two exterior trusses fully exposed all stacked 10 storeys tall

  • Two slender 14 storey towers at each end of the hall


Award: Winner at the 2013 CISC-Alberta Steel Design Awards


Winnipeg, MB

Completion Date


General Contractor

Bird Construction


Raymond S.C. Wan Architect


Crosier Kilgour & Partners Ltd.