Malahat, BC Canada | 2021
Like milk and cookies hot-dip galvanized steel and wood have an affinity together. This aesthetic fact was behind the idea for what construction materials would be best for a striking elevated walkway and observation tower in the skier’s haven north of Montreal, Canada known as Les Laurentides (The Laurentians).
This 360 degree, 365 day, fully accessible view of the surrounding natural beauty of the Canadian Laurentian Mountains is suitably crafted from the natural things you see around you: the wood is drawn from the surrounding forests and the iron and zinc are hewn from the very Canadian Shield on which those forests grow.
When the idea for a fully accessible 130-foot-tall observation tower was being developed, the top priorities were aesthetics and cost efficiency. The need for a strong yet beautiful structure balanced against the specifiers desire for the natural beauty of wood led to a hybrid design of wood and steel. The low-cost strength of a steel supporting structure would provide unbeatable value and the proven compatibility of the treated lumber with HDG steel made it the go-to maintenance-free corrosion solution. Furthermore, the elemental beauty of zinc will age well with the wood components and together they have a much more pleasing natural look than the artificial color pallet of paints.
The high capacity of the automated galvanizing plant assured rapid problem-free turnaround. Precision fabrication and high quality hot-dip galvanizing allowed for rapid factory assembly of 310,000 pounds of steel to 350,000 board feet of wood which in turn streamlined what would have been an otherwise challenging terrain for erection, exacerbated by the owner’s understandable desire to minimize the loss of surrounding trees.
The completed structure is accessible to all. Even wheelchair bound visitors can reach the top and the HDG steel will long resist the anti-icing abrasives and chemicals necessary for safety of those sloped walkways. Whether you visit on a beautiful summer day, hear the crunch of cold snow under foot as you take in the willowy white hilltops in winter or even if you brave the giant trampoline at the very top you can rest assured that the hot-dip galvanized steel underfoot will provide safe piece of mind viewing for many, many decades to come.
Excellence Award Winners
Recreation & Entertainment
Saint-Faustin-Lac-Carre, QC Canada
Aesthetics, Coating Durability, Corrosion Performance, Initial Cost, Life-Cycle Cost, Quality of HDG, Sustainability
All steel components including ornamental and structural, fasteners and anchorages
Sentier Des Cimes Laurentides
Corbec - Quebec
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