Inuvik Singles Complex

Public housing is an ongoing challenge in the Northwest Territories (NWT). With the growing demand for safe and affordable local housing needs for the singles population in NWT, the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation (NWTHC) responded to the needs of the community. A sustainable and energy-efficient 17-unit residential complex was built, housing tenants between the ages of 20-65.

According to GNWT newsroom, “the Government of the Northwest Territories has made a commitment in its mandate to increase the availability of safe, affordable housing and that reflects community values and priorities.” This project is part of a larger initiative that is being executed by the GNWT. Williams Engineering (WE) was engaged to provide structural, mechanical, and electrical services for the complex. The structural scope included a two-story wood structure, a crawl space (steel foundation system with the wood structure above), and steel piles. A key technical challenge that was presented was permafrost issues involving the foundation. Grouted steel pipe piles (piles embedded into the clay till layer) were implemented to overcome this challenge. The WE mechanical team ensured the ventilation used central heat recovery ventilation units to supply fresh air to each suite and temper the incoming air with the heat recovery units. The heating system was hydronic with gas-fired boilers, which supplied heat to a radiant floor system. Heating fluids were a 50% propylene glycol solution, which is typically used to prevent freezing or bursting. The building was designed to withstand extremely low temperatures and to be easily maintained. Additionally, electrical design services were provided, and the electrical systems included power, lighting, low voltage/data-com, and life safety systems.

Overall, the project was completed on time despite the unique land and civil conditions. The Inuvik Singles Complex is currently open and is serving the growing population in the Inuvik community.