Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum

Museum uses modern technology to complete authentic period building

In the winter of 2009, the Commonwealth Air Training Plan (CATP) Museum undertook the renovation of an authentic “H-Hut” building. During the Second World War, the building housed Royal Canadian Air Force trainees at numerous CATP facilities throughout Canada. But this was no ordinary renovation. Sections of the large H-shaped building required transport over 32 km from Canadian Forces Base Shilo to the museum site in Brandon, MB. The center section of the building needed building from the ground up, as historically accurate as possible, using the museum’s volunteer labor force. A ready-to-assemble (RTA) system from Insulspan® was a key to the project’s success.

CATP turned to Insulspan® Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) to provide the SIPs for the 70-ft by 40-ft structure. Greenway Building Systems, of Brandon, MB, was responsible for the tricky task of connecting the building to two existing structures.

“When the SIPs show up, we just put them together.” – Kevin Blanchard, Greenway Building Systems

“Working with Insulspan, the SIPs provided are an engineered system,” said Greenway Building Systems owner Kevin Blanchard. “We were able to size and measure the panels so that we could tie the three structures together with engineering and very low tolerances. When the SIPs show up, we just put them together.”

Insulspan’s Ready-to-Assemble (RTA) system made it easy for untrained volunteers to assemble the building with far less labor than conventional framing.

“Having something ready-to-assemble really appealed to the volunteer base,” said Blanchard.

Construction crews detailed the new building with authentic period finishes, even custom fabricating air vents to match the original. However, these details rest on an Insulspan SIP system that provides the exceptional insulation and energy efficiency of a modern structure.

The new H-Hut will house model barracks and a flight simulator. Both will be open to the public as well as the CATP Museum’s archives.


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