By Jordan McMillen
The American Galvanizers Association (AGA) announced the winners of the 2017 Excellence in Hot-Dip Galvanizing Awards. More than 120 projects, representing the versatility and allure of hot-dip galvanizing, were judged online by a panel of architects and engineers and are now featured in the AGA Project Gallery (http://galvanizeit.org/project-gallery).
The 2017 winners showcase the resilient and illustrious hot-dip galvanized coating. The preeminent award, designated Most Distinguished, was given to the Horizon Oil Sands Slurry Preparation Plant (SPP) in Alberta, Canada. The SPP liquefies oil sand ore for further treatment and is part of a $10 billion investment in the Horizon Oil Sands development. The rugged nature of the extraction site and corrosiveness of the liquefaction process, which present serious corrosion challenges, coupled with the fact the engineers wanted to design the plant to be relocatable, led to the decision to hot-dip galvanize the steel in the SPP. Hot-dip galvanizing provides Horizon with a cost-effective, long-lasting plant.
The Lifetime Achievement Award was granted to the resilient Baseball Man. This special award recognizes galvanized projects with at least 15 years of service; the projects are also featured in the AGA’s Galvanized Steel Studies (GSS; https://www.galvanizeit.org/hdg-in-use/galvanized-steel-studies). GSS are YouTube video case studies that include interviews with the owners and specifiers of the projects detailing their performance over the years.
Baseball Man is a topiary designed in 2001 to greet visitors at the Gulfport Sportsplex in Mississippi. In order to withstand the internal irrigation system and harsh fertilizers used, the topiary was constructed with a hot-dip galvanized frame. In 2005, Baseball Man and the Sportsplex were devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Later that year, tragedy struck again when vandals set the topiary on fire, leaving the remainder of the moss and greenery smoldering. Baseball Man was removed from the park, but the chief groundskeeper refused to give up on him, and decided to replant the topiary. Thanks to the tenacious hot-dip galvanized frame, which was unscathed after the fire and rain, Baseball Man has been restored to his former glory and will be back to greet visitors of the Sportsplex this year.
In addition to ruggedness and resiliency, some winning projects highlighted the resplendency of hot-dip galvanized steel. For example, the Minnesota Vikings Legacy Ship in Minneapolis won the Artistic category. The Legacy Ship dominates the entrance to the new US Bank Stadium, paying tribute to the team’s namesake. The 43-foot-tall iconic ship with bow dragon head and a giant media board greets fans as they enter the stadium. Utilizing hot-dip galvanized steel ensures the Legacy Ship can face the onslaught of Minnesota winters while maintaining its aesthetics and structural integrity.
Two other projects capitalizing on aesthetics were the winners of the Duplex System award. A duplex system is hot-dip galvanized steel combined with paint or powder coatings. This year, two projects were recognized — a Dog Shelter in Doral, Fla., and the Place Alta Vista Pergola in Terrebonne, Quebec.
The Miami-Dade Animal Service Pet Adoption and Protection Center is an adaptive reuse project transforming a 30-year-old warehouse into a 70,000-square-foot animal service center. The facility is the largest climate-controlled animal shelter in the country and was designed to maximize human-animal interaction. However, the shelter is located in an urban environment, exposed to pollution, weather, and salty-air, so the building needed to be corrosion resistant and aesthetically appealing. To meet these goals, the main façade, canopy entrance, and side courtyard were all galvanized and then painted.
The Place Alta Vista Pergola is a symbolic representation of the new eco-friendly suburban development. The ring pergola has a Voronoi distribution design, representing the balance and equality necessary to meet the vision of sustainability for the new neighborhood. The natural-occurring zinc of the hot-dip galvanized coating assures a long service life, with the duplex paint system providing even greater durability.
A number of projects did their best to utilize hot-dip galvanizing for both its rugged resiliency and illustrious appearance. One such example is the McKinney Aquatics Center in Texas, which took home the Recreation & Entertainment award. The Apex Centre, an 80,000-square-foot facility, was developed to provide a practical, safe, and fun escape for the community. It houses a gymnasium, sports courts, elevated track, child care, classrooms, locker rooms, and a 10,000-square-foot pool.
Another project coupling the resiliency and resplendency of hot-dip galvanized steel is the Building & Architecture winner — Rubb USA Aircraft Hangar at Rockford International Airport. This project displays the versatility of hot-dip galvanizing, combining beautiful design work with practical engineering to provide adequate space for maintenance and repairs on aircraft. The hangar is fitted with a five-panel mega door with pivoting mullions to allow access up to an Airbus A380 jet. The structures contain 1,100 tons of hot-dip galvanized columns, beams, and peripheral steel, which will provide cost-effective, long-term corrosion protection.
Sometimes hot-dip galvanized steel is specified solely for its rugged, tenacious durability, such as the winners in the Industrial; Electric, Utility, and Communication (EUC); and Original Equipment Manufacturing (OEM) categories. The Industrial Award went to the Cove Point LNG Expansion in Lusby, Md. Cove Point is a gas liquefaction plant that will facilitate export of LNG to new markets. The harsh environment of the massive facility could easily turn this project into a maintenance nightmare, but hot-dip galvanized steel can withstand the rigors of LNG production.
The EUC winning project highlights hot-dip galvanized steel’s use in another alternative energy source. The Maritime Link Project – Converter Stations were built to bring hydro-electric power from Labrador, Canada to the Northeastern United States. The Maritime Link is the first project connecting the island of Newfoundland to the North American electricity market, delivering renewable energy to Nova Scotia and throughout New England. Each of the two converter stations utilized 1,230 tons of hot-dip galvanized steel.
The OEM award was given to the Snow Scrapers and Blowers in Quebec City. Cotech, an agricultural equipment manufacturer, wanted to explore the benefits of incorporating hot-dip galvanizing into its line of snow removal machinery. The design of the adjustable scrapers was modified to minimize the cost of galvanizing as well as maximize potential benefits. Once DSH, a snow removal contractor, purchased the hot-dip galvanized scrapers and witnessed their effectiveness, they asked their supplier of snow blowers, Pronovost, for galvanized blowers as well. Similar to the scrapers, the galvanizer worked with Pronovost to redesign their blowers for the hot-dip galvanizing process. Now DSH has a full fleet of snow removal equipment resistant to the abrasion and corrosivity of salt-laced roadways.
Two projects marrying the rugged resiliency and beauty of hot-dip galvanized steel were the winners in Bridge & Highway and Transportation. The Ste-Marie de Beauce Multipurpose Overpass in Quebec won the Bridge & Highway category. The overpass is the longest-span pedestrian bridge in Quebec at almost 700 feet. The suspension bridge will not just serve pedestrians, but also all sorts of leisure equipment such as snowmobiles, four-wheelers, bicycles, and skis to eliminate the need for dangerous ice crossings. Harsh winters, a humid climate, and a limited maintenance budget made hot-dip galvanizing — strong steel combined with the protective power of zinc — the go-to solution for corrosion-free longevity.
The Transportation winner was the Goodale Street Parking Garage in Columbus, Ohio. This eight-story garage includes an LED lighting system that illuminates the structure at night and expanded the parking capacity by more than 600 spaces. Hot-dip galvanizing provided design freedom for the overall aesthetic of the garage, while providing durability and low cost — both initially and over the life cycle. Furthermore, the sustainable aspects of hot-dip galvanized steel, including its 100 percent recyclability, met the sustainable goals of the City of Columbus.
The winning projects for Civic Contribution, Water & Marine, and the International categories feature the illustrious look of the hot-dip galvanized coating while also reaping the benefits of its resiliency. The Civic Contribution Award was presented to Sharon Fields in Alleghany County, Va. This project was a collaboration between the design/buildLAB at Virginia Tech’s School of Architecture, Clifton Forge Little League, and the Allegheny Foundation. The charitable project provided Virginia Tech students a hands-on learning experience while fulfilling a need in the community for an adequate facility to mentor children and host tournaments. The project consisted of two customized, visually appealing backstops and a press box constructed of light-gauge steel tubing, structural steel, and expanded metal — all hot-dip galvanized for longevity.
Volcano Bay at Universal Orlando Resort won the Water & Marine Award this year. At the center of Volcano Bay stands “Krakatau,” a manmade volcano that houses waterslides and a wave pool. The design team at Universal Studios specified hot-dip galvanized steel for the volcano’s support structure due to many years of satisfactory maintenance-free service on previous water park projects.
Another project capitalizing on the resplendence of hot-dip galvanized steel is the Melbourne University Arts Faculty Redevelopment in Australia, which took home the International Award. The renovated Arts Faculty building features a louvered façade on three sides for aesthetic appeal. To ensure visual integrity and avoid unsightly rust, the project team opted to hot-dip galvanize all of the louvres. More than 480 individually numbered steel frames were fabricated and galvanized, then installed piece-by-piece like a giant jigsaw puzzle.
The last of the 2017 Excellence Awards winners are two Food & Agriculture projects. The first winner was the Pipe Supports for Houweling’s Heat Recovery System in Mona, Utah. The 28.3-acre greenhouse farm was built adjacent to a Rocky Mountain power plant with an agreement allowing them to capture flue gases from the plant stack and utilize the heat and carbon dioxide to grow tomatoes year round. A 10-foot-diameter, 475-foot-long duct from the power plant to the greenhouse stands 25 to 30 feet above the ground suspended by hot-dip galvanized pipe supports.
The second Food & Agriculture award was given to the Olymel Saint-Esprit meat processing plant in Quebec. The $25 million meat processing plant was designed to increase production and includes new energy efficient refrigeration areas. The condensation caused by refrigeration and intense use of aggressive cleaning solutions necessary in any food-handling facility creates a destructive environment for steel structures. However, Olymel chose to protect the entire building structure as well as machinery support structures and exterior platforms for the cooling equipment with hot-dip galvanizing.
All of this year’s winners are featured in the Winners section of the AGA Project Gallery at https://www.galvanizeit.org/project-gallery/winners. In addition, all of the projects submitted to the 2017 competition are featured in the Case Studies section of the AGA Project Gallery (https://www.galvanizeit.org/project-gallery/gallery).
Jordan McMillen is senior marketing coordinator for the American Galvanizers Association (www.galvanizeit.org).