When the construction crew pulled off the siding from the Yukon government’s main administration building in mid-December, they uncovered a surprise.
Underneath the 40-year-old shell, the foam insulation keeping everything warm had been painted in coloured stripes.
Green, white and blue bands – the colours of the territory’s flag – wrap all the way around the building.
As it sits with its innards exposed, passersby are left to wonder how it got this way.
Was there planning involved? Was a construction crew so overcome with patriotic fervour that they broke out the paint?
It turns out the answer is more about practicality.
Al Fromme, the project manager during the building’s construction in the 1970s, explained that the type of insulation used in the building needed to be painted to protect it from the sun during construction, before it got covered by the siding.
There’s no special story behind why they went with the flag colours, Fromme said.
“I don’t think anybody really came up and documented anything and said OK, we’re going to do it this way for this reason. It just turned out the way it was.”
The Yukon government is spending $5.5 million to make the building on Second Avenue more environmentally friendly.
“The building will be more efficient, it will be better for the environment,” said Highways and Public Works spokesperson Alicia Debrecini.
“We estimate a heat fuel savings of approximately $200,000 per year and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of approximately 425 tons per year.”
The building’s vapour barrier is being upgraded. There will be new windows, skylights and doors.
As part of the upgrade, the old insulation will be replaced. The new material is grey.
Workers did uncover asbestos in the caulking around the windows, Debrecini said. It is being removed by an experienced crew and is not expected to affect the project’s timeline or budget.
Everything is expected to be completed by June.
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