Blog Post

Project Update: Downtown Stanley A. Milner Library Revitalization

Edmonton’s Stanley A. Milner library is receiving a much-needed facelift. Not only does the library play host to over 1.2 million visitors per year – it’s also front and centre stage in downtown Edmonton. With the stunning architecture of the Art Gallery of Alberta and the elegant pyramid of Government Hall right next door, library planners wanted the library to showcase Edmonton’s creative and innovative spirit.

After these revitalizations, it certainly will. The interior and exterior of the library are undergoing a complete makeover. The project is drawing on the experience of hundreds of talented local trades and workers. Standard Scaffold is proud to have a hand in beautifying the library. We’ve been on site for over a year and a half now, and the progress we’ve seen in that time is tremendous.

Of course, each section of the project has presented unique challenges. Our team has come up with interesting and innovation solutions for every head-scratcher we’ve come across so far.


Challenge #1: Heavy-Duty Exterior Work

The library’s exterior facelift requires labour-intensive work. All the current stone panels on the exterior are being removed to make way for a brand-new curtain wall system. The curtain wall system uses a steel frame, which is then set with glass.

While the new look will certainly be eye-catching, it also means a great deal of challenging façade scaffolding is needed to allow workers access to the exterior of the building. And, of course, more scaffolding means more planning.

Solution #1: Pre-Designed Façade Scaffolding

We think the best laid plans are those that have been fully reviewed by everyone with a stake in the project. In many ways, we set up for the success of the other contractors and workers involved in the project. We think of them as our partners, and we know we need to do a great job right away, so they can do the same.

Standard Scaffold’s on-site portion of the project began back in December 2016, but the planning began two years earlier in 2014. We came into the planning phase with a full scaffolding layout – but not just any layout. Using the Standard Scaffold Virtual Reality Estimating Software (SSVR), we created a 3D scaffolding plan that can be altered and adapted easily to changing needs.

Our tech experts put their heads together with the great team of planners at Clark Builders to make sure the plan was airtight. Clark Builders and the other trades on site were able to view the plan in VR so we could alter it to work for everyone. All this before a single platform was built! This ensured everyone had access where they needed it, and the building of the scaffolds was smooth, efficient, and on budget.


Challenge #2: Downtown Setup

Churchill Square is a busy place at any time of day. Located within a stone’s throw of government buildings, shops and retailers, office buildings, and residential buildings, the library’s location required extra safety considerations.

Solution #2: Overhead Protection

Introducing a crane, construction equipment, and scaffolding into a busy downtown area is a challenge. Our very first steps on site were designed to protect workers, passersby, the adjacent buildings, and the environment for the duration of the project.

With safety at the top of the priority list, the Standard Scaffold team set about installing a complete overhead protection system. This prevents any falling debris and materials from causing damage to people, places, or objects. It was particularly important to complete this step before the overhead crane was brought in.


Challenge #3: Garbage & Debris Removal

Before anything was built up, there was a lot to remove from the current structure. This meant there was a significant amount of debris and garbage that needed to be taken out. Standard Scaffold was able to implement a solution for the safe removal of debris.

Solution #3: Garbage Chute

Due to high foot and vehicle traffic around the site, it was best to have a covered removal system. We installed a garbage chute on site that you may have seen if you’ve walked by. It looks like a chimney that goes directly into the building. Walkways around the garbage chute allow workers to access it from the exterior of the library.


What’s Next on This Project?

Standard Scaffold will be on site to assist our building team as the downtown library project progresses. Keep an eye out for the team the next time you visit Churchill Square.

We can expect to see the brand-new Stanley A. Milner library open for readers and learners in early 2020. If you’d like to see a mockup of what the library will look like (inside and out), visit the EPL blog for photos and more updates.