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Industrial Buildings | CNRL

Conklin, AB, Canada
Industry: Industrial
Application: Multiple
Buildings: 1 - F-Series - 100' wide x 288' long
1 - F-Series - 120' wide x 308' long
1 - F-Series - 130' wide x 396' long
3 - T-Series - 50' wide x 60' long
1 - Custom - 70' wide x 120' long
CNRL Full Site

F-Series Buildings:

  • F-Series buildings were used to provide a suitable environment for poured concrete to cure. This was the first time this type of build was totally covered for the customer during completion in winter months in Northern Alberta.
  • The buildings were installed with only 20' access down the center of the structure (where pipe racks were to reside) and outside perimeter.
  • They were in use for approximately 6 months and have been dismantled and transported to the next phase of this project for re-installation.
  • 700,000 BTU IHS furnaces were used for heating.
  • Liners were installed to achieve minimal temporary heat retention.
  • Screw pile foundation.

T-Series Building:

  • The T-Series buildings will remain at the original site for warehousing.
  • Radiant tube heating.
  • Foil insulation package.
  • Concrete block foundation.

T-Series ‘Rail’ Building:

  • The T-Series ‘Rail’ building is being used for module fabrication.
  • Radiant tube heating.
  • Foil insulation package.
  • Screw pile foundation.

This project illustrates the ability for Norseman Structures buildings to be ‘reused’ with very little in the way of replacement materials (tek screws, damaged liners, termination strip and some anchors).


While opportunities for producing crude oil in the oil sands of northern Alberta are abundant, building a bitumen extraction plant, in subzero winter temperatures, is a challenging endeavor. For CNRL, environmental factors, intended use, accessibility, and financial risks all required consideration, adding complexity to the project. Diversity of services and advanced expertise is what made Norseman Structures the most capable partner for CNRL’s ShelterSolution.


Restricted to the site of the resource deposits nearby, and with winter closely approaching, CNRL needed several structures designed to serve different purposes. These ranged from warehouses to maximize storage capacity, to temporary shelters for curing concrete in sub-zero temperatures, to an 8400 sqft movable fabrication space for the assembly of large modules. CNRL also needed a solution that would help mitigate financial risks. With winter approaching, CNRL needed shelters that could be constructed quickly to minimize operational downtime. CNRL was in search of rental or lease options since they only intended to utilize some of the facilities during the construction phase of the project. With all of these factors at play, CNRL required more than a conventional solution – they needed a partner who could be trusted to effectively design, fabricate, deliver, and assemble beyond the ordinary solutions on site, and do so in a safe and timely manner.

THE ShelterSolution

CNRL faced several unique obstacles with this project. It was essential to understand these unique obstacles to establish the best way forward. Only after identifying their unique needs and fully understanding their business was it possible to design a suitable solution. The Norseman Structures team provided seven ShelterSolutions to cover the variety of uses CNRL required: three shelters for pouring and curing concrete in a temperature controlled environment, three 3000 sqft warehouses for permanent use, and one movable fabrication facility built on rails for module assembly. The construction of these structures was complete in just six weeks after arrival to site combating the pressure of winter timelines. In addition to design, engineering, project management, and construction ingenuity, the Norseman Structures financial team, also crafted a solution around CNRL’s requests. A rental agreement for all seven buildings was developed to help CNRL mitigate their financial risk, creating a comprehensive ShelterSolution that met all of CNRL’s needs.


The result for CNRL went far beyond a set of buildings. These ShelterSolutions provided efficiencies, cost savings, a secure location for CNRL’s equipment and operations, and a safe working environment for their employees. This strategic approach resulted in the project being completed 30 days ahead of schedule, saving CNRL $30 million - $1 million per day. After seeing the benefits, CNRL decided to purchase all seven buildings and has since dismantled and reinstalled some of the structures at different sites. The relocation of these structures resulted in approximately 60% cost savings over purchasing new buildings for the next phase of their project.

CNRL Warehouse


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