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Fabric building offers cold-storage solution

Case Studies, Features | June 28, 2016 | By:

Potash_54x120_Mosaic’s Esterhazy_Interior[15]Steel-framed, fabric-covered structure installed in two weeks at potash mine.

The Mosaic Esterhazy K3 mine, part of Associated Mining Construction Inc. (AMC), is located approximately four kilometers east of the town of Esterhazy in Saskatchewan, Canada, and is an expansion of Mosaic’s potash mining operations at the Esterhazy site.

The K3 mine is the largest potash mine in the world with an annual capacity of 5.3 million tons. The expansion project of the new Greenfield K3 mining complex at Esterhazy has added an additional 1 million tons to their annual output.

The K3 complex is comprised of two 20-foot diameter shafts sunk to a depth of approximately 3,700 feet below collar together with the necessary service shaft headframe and hoists, ventilation circuits and the associated surface infrastructure.

The K3 complex has a 65-foot by 120-foot Atlas steel-framed, fabric-covered building from Britespan Building Systems Inc., Lucknow, Ontario, Canada, that is used for cold storage. “We needed a cold storage facility,” said Adam Klein, corporate purchasing coordinator for AMC. “The fabric-covered building was not only the most cost effective solution, but Britespan was able to install the building quickly, within the short timeframe that we required. We were also able to fasten the building to a two-row concrete block foundation, making it temporary and portable. This was important because we wanted the flexibility to use the building at multiple sites.”

Potash_54x120_Mosaic’s Esterhazy[12]The fabric covers are made of Synergy FR Fabrene fabric and are flame retardant, as well as mold, mildew, fungus and corrosion resistant. The fabric is heavy weight and constructed of two parts: the scrim and 4 mil coatings. The scrim, which is the woven part of the material, is constructed of individual tapes. The unique composition of the tapes and how they are woven together give the fabric its rip, tear and puncture strength. The specialized 4 mil coatings provide a more uniform and thicker protection layer for the scrim, increasing ultraviolet protection. The thicker coatings are more resistant to abrasion damage during fabrication and installation of the fabric cover. The fabric covers have a life expectancy of 20-plus years.

The building was constructed on a foundation of concrete blocks two rows high, for a total height of 5 feet. The original tender and bid specified a foundation of helical piles. After a site inspection, however, Vertical Building Solutions determined the hard ground rock was not conducive for the original foundation type. In addition, the customer wanted the structure to be portable, so the concrete block foundation was the best option for their overall requirements.

There were no specific challenges with the building, and site preparation and construction went as planned. The building was engineered to comply with all of the Provincial building codes as well as the snow, wind and rain load for the area. Total construction time for this project was two weeks.

Amanda Monaghan is the marketing manager at Britespan Building Systems Inc.

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