BIG meeting sets the agenda for Research and Development at Rubb


The Rubb Group’s Buildings Innovation Group (BIG) came together on September 4th, 2014, to discuss new innovations in the fabric building industry. Rune Vamråk (Group CEO), Dale Robinson (Structural Engineer, Rubb UK), Jamie Bshara (Operations Manager, Rubb USA), Ole Martin Råen (Fabric Production General Manager, Norway), Bjorn Øyvind Råen (Cad Engineer/Project Manager, Norway), Øyvind Sjølie Karlsen (Design Manager, Strukturas) and Gregor Urban (Design Engineer, Norway), gathered to discuss the latest hot topics at Rubb UK’s HQ in Gateshead. Dale Robinson reports from behind the scenes for the Rubb Blog…

The Buildings Innovation Group (BIG) is the latest development in Rubb’s continued drive to deliver the most innovative products to the market and continue to stay ahead of our competitors. The main aim of the BIG is to secure long term focused research and development with regard to products and services, whilst seeking continuous improvements throughout the business.

It was agreed the first BIG meeting would be held at Rubb UK and we welcomed attendees from the Rubb Group’s USA and Norwegian Operating Companies. The attendees, some experienced employees and some fairly new faces to the Rubb team, brought a wealth of knowledge and freshness to the meeting.

There was plenty to talk about, and while waiting for the meeting to make an official start it was no surprise to find the discussion turned to England’s victory over Norway in the football the night before! The meeting was chaired by Rubb’s CEO, Rune Vamråk, who had the initial vision of bringing all of Rubb’s technical expertise together. The meeting started with Rune giving a brief explanation of the focus of the group, which followed with introductions, including everyone’s role and experience within the company. We then took it in turn to discuss items that each OpCo wanted to place on the agenda for further research and development. Then recent projects each Rubb branch had been working on came under the spotlight. It was good to gain an understanding of how each of the companies valued different areas for research and development.

Following a short break we concentrated on Norway’s list of priorities. Norway experiences high snow loads, so it was no surprise this was a major subject, but you would be surprised how much discussion you can have about snow! Without going into too much detail about exactly what was discussed (we don’t want to give away all our secrets), we also covered some of Norway’s additional areas of focus. We then took the opportunity to show our visitors around the UK plant, discussing the process of fabric and steel production.

Following lunch, a short presentation demonstrated how the UK structurally analyse buildings. This was followed with in-depth discussions regarding the UK’s and USA’s list of potential R&D. To bring the meeting to a close we all reflected on the day, talking about what we each found most useful and what we could take away from the meeting. Everyone declared the meeting a success. It was great to share ideas around the table and gain greater knowledge of how each company is operating.

The meeting ended and unfortunately some of our guests were heading home that evening. The remaining guests explored some of the historic landmarks of Durham City, located near our Gateshead office. We took a brief tour around Durham Market Place, home to St Nicholas’s church and Neptune’s statue. We then proceeded up the old cobbled Saddler Street, which leads to the grounds of the Cathedral and Castle. We were able to get access inside the Cathedral to view some of the magnificent architecture. Everyone appreciated the wonderful scenery inside and out, which was enhanced by the imminent sunset. We finally brought the day to close with a meal and some sociable drinks at a local restaurant.

We are beginning to see the potential of the BIG, with plans already in motion and some actioned. The communication between the group has increased and it’s good to finally put some name to faces. There is no doubt the meetings will benefit the company and our customers. There is certainly plenty of R&D to progress in the near future so watch this space!


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