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First BONE Structure home being assembled in Calgary

A BONE structure home is being built in Bowness in Calgary. It is built from recycled steel frames that snap together in construction.

A BONE structure home is being built in Bowness in Calgary. It is built from recycled steel frames that snap together in construction.

Gavin Young / Calgary Herald



A Quebec-based company that’s pioneering the use of recycled steel frames that snap together is constructing its first home in Calgary.


BONE Structure says its buildings can be assembled in less than a week with no nails, cutting, or waste, while using only a drill, and the lightweight frames are put together similar to Lego blocks.


The first trial using the system in Calgary is on Bow Crescent N.W. where a previous home was destroyed due to the flood along the Bow River in 2013.


Marc Bovet, the company’s president, told the Herald that there are commitments for 24 homes in Calgary, four in Edmonton, and three in other areas of the province.


“Yes, we’re fast tracking in Alberta,” he said.


“The BONE Structure prevails in the case of another flood … it’s a pretty impressive house. The structure pretty much went up in five or six days.”


The home in Bowness is a two-storey structure of about 5,500 square feet.


Geoff Wilcox, owner of the home, said the previous house on the property was torn down following the flood.


“I was quite impressed with their presentation,” said Wilcox of BONE representatives who were in Calgary last year making presentations on the product.


“Sustainability was the big thing that got us. I think it’s over 60 per cent of the steel that they use is recycled. That’s a pretty cool thing.”


Wilcox said the home is expected to be completed early next year.


He said he did not price out a comparative cost of a BONE home to a traditional construction but suspects it’s a little higher due to its pitched roof.


Bovet said BONE is now assembling homes in nine of 10 provinces as the company began to move out of its Quebec base about 26 months ago. Today, 74 per cent of its business is outside that province.


Bovet said the company has opened an office in San Francisco and expects to start assembling homes in Palo Alto, California this summer.


The company was founded by Bovet in 2005.


In a BONE home, electrical, plumbing, heating, and ventilation systems are easily connected thanks to pre-cut openings acting as veritable “highways” within the structure, just like an airplane fuselage, said Bovet.


Each custom, tailor-made building has a specific number of screws and parts, taking the guesswork out of ordering, and eliminates unwanted budget increases, he added.


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