About Rubb Blog

Marketing Manager

Quick storage solutions are the first port of call

Rubb has been quick to react to the ever-changing needs of busy ports, creating a range of storage warehousing structures to suit our clients’ requirements.

The benefits of quick storage fabric structures are their relatively affordable cost, quick construction, and their portability – they are easily relocatable and adaptable to accommodate ports’ changing needs and products warehoused in line with cyclical world trade activities.

Port warehousing these days is highly competitive, but fabric structures are gaining popularity as they become tried and proven. Rubb has installed a series of quick storage warehouse structures, which demonstrate just how compatible and reliable these fabric structures are in a variety of environments.

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Recently Rubb designed, manufactured and built its fourth steel-framed, fabric-clad storage building for Belfast Harbour (pictured above). The latest structure is 32.5m wide and 76.5m long and features 6.75m high sidewalls, with outside tapered column legs, which ensure all internal walls have a straight vertical face, making the most of the internal space.

Rubb’s signature hot-dip galvanised steel frame and high tenacity PVC covering membrane ensure very little maintenance is required. The durable PVC membrane cladding on Rubb port warehouses will stand up against corrosion in the harsh marine environment.

Rubb also has a similar port structure at Hendon Docks for the Port of Sunderland and two relocatable animal feed structures for the Port of Workington on England’s west coast, where severe winds and rain are common.

Finn Haldorsen established Rubb in 1966. Although the company started out making tarpaulins and bags from PVC fabric, in 1968 it made the first ‘Rubb Building’. This was the first fabric clad building manufactured in Norway.

Rubb now has offices around the world. In the United States, where Rubb is based in Sanford, Maine, the biggest challenge these days is keeping up with the growing needs of multiple market sectors. However port users still make up 25-30% of the business.

While some people may question the quality of temporary buildings versus permanent structures, USA Marketing Manager Chuck Auger says for Rubb there is no difference. “Our buildings are still built to last. That’s what happens when quality products and engineering are a priority. Our customers have realised that the per day cost of owning and operating a Rubb structure is better value than cheaper options.”

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In the Port of Virginia, Rubb has recently installed a ‘game changer’ for the 130-year-old Newport News Shipbuilding company. The North Yard structure now has two retractable weather covers (pictured above) to allow workers to continue a building program despite the elements that can affect the production facility.

Meanwhile, a large percentage of new Rubb structures are being insulated using Thermohall, a patented insulation system, which is becoming increasingly popular. One example of such a structure completed at an extremely challenging location is a moveable Thermohall clad structure for the U.S. National Science Foundation. The mean annual air temperature where the structure (pictured below) is located is -31 degrees Fahrenheit. On the innovation side, the 9.7m by 29.5m Rubb building has been set on a foundation of wood/metal that can be compared to a giant toboggan, so the structure can be moved over the Polar ice cap periodically to prevent being snowed over.

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For more information about Rubb’s fast and flexible storage solutions, please visit www.rubb.com today.

Building the scenes for a new Rubb Group video

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Our new video is set to take viewers behind the scenes at the Rubb Group to highlight the design, manufacturing and construction processes that underpin our fabric building solutions.

Creative company Studio Wallop has been busy gathering video footage and images over the summer for the new company film for the Rubb Group.

Staff and ongoing work at Rubb took centre stage when Studio Wallop spent some time on site filming the design and manufacturing processes involved in creating Rubb fabric structures.

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Studio Wallop is an independent creative studio based in Liskeard, Cornwall, specialising in film, animation, photography and design. Set up by director and designer Stephen Tolfrey, Studio Wallop has more than 24 years experience in producing work for many clients, from small independents to major international brands.

Owner/Producers Stephen and Kim Tolfrey filmed at Rubb’s design and sales offices and PVC and steel manufacturing workshops. They also visited the site where Rubb’s building frame steel work is hot dip galvanized to protect it from corrosion.

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Staff from Rubb Marketing and the film crew visited two high profile Rubb buildings in the north east of England: Newcastle United and Sunderland Association Football Clubs’ training facilities. These two sports buildings are considered to be flagship indoor football training hubs and are good examples of how Rubb building systems can help protect players from the elements, while providing an internal light and airy atmosphere thanks to our translucent roofing systems.

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From the pitch to the airfield

With filming and photography complete at Rubb and key sites in the north, Studio Wallop then set off on the long road trip to Gatwick Airport for the opening of the new Rubb aircraft hangar for easyJet at Gatwick Airport. The new top-flight, two-bay facility provides 5200sq m (58,125sq ft) of usable working floorspace and can accommodate two Airbus A321s at the same time.

The video also features other projects and highlights from throughout the Rubb Group, which has operations in the UK, USA, Norway, Sweden and Singapore.

Rubb Group CEO Rune Vamråk said: “We are very proud of our new video. Studio Wallop and the staff involved did a great job. The video allows clients to explore our commitment to excellence in engineering in everything we do, while watching the processes involved when creating our quality fabric building solutions.”

You can view the Rubb Group video here.

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A Rubb Arctic adventure on the move…

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The Rubb structure built on the ice cap in Greenland for the National Science Foundation has taken a sled ride to a different location.

As previously referenced, the Rubb BVR storage facility, known as the Summit Mobile Garage, is a 32’ x 97’ heavily insulated building designed and engineered to be moved or, more aptly, moved by sled from place to place. Due to massive amounts of drifting snow it is easier to tow the building to a new resting spot rather than remove the piles of snow.

In the pictures above, the site crew is shown towing and pivoting the building to its new temporary location. According to Marc Boutet, who spent a month in Greenland as technical advisor: “The guys told me they waited for a warm, balmy day and dragged the building to a spot less likely to get buried with drifting snow… warm and balmy means a few degrees above zero,” Marc added with a chuckle.

Actually the Rubb building was moved about 400 yards and the crew at Summit Station reported no problems with the move. “That’s because we designed and built it right,” concluded Marc.

For more information on this project or on any other high quality Rubb products go to www.rubbusa.com

Rubb buildings support energy efficiency

Rubb’s white translucent PVC cladding allows natural light to illuminate the interior of our buildings, while reducing the heat island effect on the structure.

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The picture below is an external view of a Rubb fabric building used in some recent infrared tests. It is a 70ft x 80ft x 16.4ft BVE type structure, used as a salt storage shed for the City of Sanford, ME. It was built in 2009 and has performed well for the public works department.

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Thermal images were taken on a sunny spring day, where the sun was hitting the wall and roof at approximately the same angle. Results show that the reflective but translucent white roof is 12°f cooler than the sandstone-colored sidewalls.

The image below illustrates the results of the infrared surface temperature tests on the structure – a typical Rubb storage facility.

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The outcome: a cool and comfortable indoor temperature while avoiding any need for lighting power consumption during a regular working day. These double energy savings help greatly reduce the Rubb structure’s operating costs.

Independent building science consultant Lew Harriman also notes: “We measured the air tightness of this building using a blower door. When its rolling overhead door is closed, it meets and exceeds the U.S. Army’s air tightness requirement to leak less than 0.25 cfm at a pressure difference of 75 Pascals (0.3” W.C). That means the building won’t have uncomfortable drafts, even in the highest winter winds. It also means its air tightness is better than half of the very air tight commercial buildings measured for ASHRAE’s recent research project RP-1478. When any building must be heated, that level of air tightness means big energy cost savings for every year of that building’s long life.”

This is just another advantage of choosing a Rubb building. For more information about Rubb building solutions visit us at www.rubbusa.com or call 207-324-2877.

A Rubb Arctic adventure

“What an experience!” were the first words spoken by long time Rubb USA site supervisor and current salesman Marc Boutet after spending nearly a month overseeing the erection of a Rubb BVR on the polar ice cap.

Rubb USA has completed a 32’ x 97’ BVR structure at Summit Station CH2M Polar Hill Services, in Greenland, for the National Science Foundation.

Located at 72° 36′ N latitude, and at an altitude of 10,600 feet with a mean annual air temperature of -31°, Summit Station has long challenged the physical fitness of its visitors.

In the spirit of “a picture is worth a thousand words” we can reveal a handful of recently taken photos related to the project and provide some interesting insight.

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C-130: Shipping and Receiving

The Rubb building was neatly packed and delivered via a USAF C-130 equipped with skis to land on the ice cap. The interior of the plane was ‘tight quarters’ as you can see in the picture below. That is the Rubb building to the left.

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Free refrigeration

Food and supplies are stored ‘undersnow’ in a dug out cavern. Due to snowfall the depth of the cavern increases significantly over time to the point where the crew will dig a new ‘refrigerator’. From the photo below you can see the crew moving supplies into the cavern.

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Not your average Ritz-Carlton

Sleeping arrangements at Summit Station… room service?

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Building under construction:

The work begins…

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With building framework complete, the gable end is lifted into position.

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The Thermohall PVC ‘sheets’ are pulled/adjusted onto the frame via snowmobile.

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The cladding on this building is R-35 rated Thermohall with 8” of high density insulation, after all the temperature can reach -100F! Rubb Thermohall is designed to withstand and perform in the harshest of environments.

Interior of building:

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The BVR will be equipped with a generator driven lighting and heating system. The structure will support operations at Summit Station and will primarily serve as an equipment and maintenance shed. The building is set upon a foundation of wood/metal that can be best described as an ‘oversized toboggan’. Thus the structure can be moved periodically to prevent being ‘snowed over’. Rubb innovation at its best!

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When asked what was most interesting experience about the Greenland project, Marc smiled and immediately said departing the site on a C-130. “The runway, actually ‘snowway’ is over three miles long and lined mostly with black flags. When you see red flags the plane must stop and turn around and try to take off again in the opposite direction. This is at nearly 11,000 ft. and the snow creates a lot of friction. After three failed attempts to lift off we stopped and the land crew attached portable ‘rockets’ to the plane to help us gain enough speed to gain altitude. I heard a couple of ‘booms’ and up in the air we went! All I could think was… what is going on? Well, I made it!”

More Rubb adventures to follow!

Explore apprenticeships at Rubb

Looking for the best route to careers in design, manufacturing and construction? Apprenticeships could hold the key. Our apprentice Liam Whyatt, aged 19, talks about his journey and experiences…

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What is your job title?

Apprentice Design Engineer

How long have you been working in this role?

I have been employed since September 2014, however I was at college full time until January 2015. Then I started working four days a week with a day release at college.

Describe the journey that led to your apprenticeship

I began my higher education studying Art, Maths and Physics at A-level. After half a year I felt it wasn’t the right route for me take. I felt like I had no sense of direction and the lack of practical work disinterested me. I decided to leave sixth form after my first year and began looking for an apprenticeship in engineering. I came across Tyne North Training at a careers fair. After a few tests and interviews I was accepted into Tyne North Training and they helped me get an interview with potential employers. Rubb Buildings Ltd responded and offered me an interview. Shortly after that I was employed as an apprentice design engineer.

Can you describe your working day?

Rubb Buildings Ltd manufactures engineered fabric buildings: portable structures, relocatable buildings, shelters, hangars and custom facilities. I’m tasked to do different things every day, so no two days are the same. At work, I could be producing a ‘Plans and Elevations’ drawing using AutoCAD and Google SketchUp, or producing steelwork, foundation and PVC production drawings for a building we’ve been tasked to design.

What’s the best thing about the job?

I think being surrounded by nice people who help me and I can be open around is a huge benefit, especially as an apprentice. I can have a laugh with my colleagues and I don’t feel uncomfortable when asking questions, and this really helps with my learning. I’m learning something new every day. It is enjoyable and I’m getting payed to do something I’m interested in, which is even better.

Any negatives?

I suppose the worst thing is the frustration of not being as good as the other draughtsmen. They’ve obviously been at Rubb longer than me and they know everything about the work they’re involved in. However, this inspires me to improve my skill set and gain more experience.

What stand-out projects have you got involved in so far

We recently made an indoor trampoline park for a client. It was huge and I was involved from the start. I got to make the conceptual 3D models for it and later on helped with a lot of the design work. What really struck me was going on site visits and seeing the park coming together. Seeing a job through the computer screen is one thing, but seeing it when it was being built was a great experience. When it was completed it was amazing to see something which people were enjoying and knowing I had helped design it.

What has been your career highlight to date?

Again, getting to see the finished trampoline park for myself was a treat. We all went down before it opened to test it out. This was great fun, and ended a challenging project on a positive note.

How would you describe life as a working engineer?

I’ve enjoyed my first year as an apprentice engineer. It has been challenging at times but rewarding. When you’re working you forget how much you are learning and looking back over the last year I can say I’ve gained so much experience.

What did you expect when you started work?

I wasn’t exposed to engineering until getting my apprenticeship so I honestly didn’t know what to expect. Initially I thought I would be doing all sorts of boring work before being trusted to work on more interesting projects.

Was it what you expected or did anything surprise you?

As soon as I started I was working on interesting, thought provoking projects. I started on getting to know the basics of the drawing software we use and then I was on my way to doing sales drawings. This surprised me and I was impressed at the amount of trust which was put in me from the very start. I was treated like an adult from day one.

Is there any advice you’d like to pass on to those about to enter an engineering workplace?

I would advise anyone wanting to start a career in engineering to go down the apprenticeship route. There’s nothing better than getting paid to learn, especially when the workplace is interesting, challenging and the people in it are friendly and helpful. Just make sure you enjoy yourself and try to take in as much useful information and experience as possible.

What do you think you’ll do next?

After gaining my BTEC level 3 in Mechanical Engineering and finishing my NVQ, I hope to move on to my HNC. Gaining more experience at work is also another thing I’m striving for. Hopefully, I’ll move up the workforce and achieve great things for my company.

Newcastle Aviation Academy and Airport

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Rubb UK enjoyed the opportunity to explore behind the scenes at Newcastle College’s  Aviation Academy and Newcastle Airport with other members of the Advanced Manufacturing Forum recently. It was an excellent tour.

Tim Jacklin, Manager of Newcastle Aviation Academy and RAF Engineering Veteran, provided an informative tour of the facility. Based at Newcastle International Airport, the £3.3million Aviation Academy allows students to develop their knowledge and skills in an exciting and practical environment.

Facilities include a Boeing 737 fully functional aircraft, incorporating all systems on which students can carry out standard repairs on the flying controls, engine, power supply, air conditioning and landing gear. The academy also features a series of workshops kitted out with the very latest equipment, designed for the study of specific aspects of aircraft engineering and an IT Suite equipped with modern CBT training equipment for the electrical and electronic practical training.

We also found out more about Newcastle International Airport’s Training Academy which provides world class training to businesses and individuals from across the globe. Course are available in Aviation, Firefighting, First Aid, Security, Offshore Emergency Response, Crisis Management and a whole range of other safety related courses. Customers include Heathrow Airport, Faro International Airport, Vector Aerospace and a number of organisations from other industries.

A look behind the scenes of baggage handling completed the tour and gave us some unique insight into the operations at Newcastle Airport.

Rubb UK continues to provide a variety of aircraft hangars to the aerospace and defence sectors. To find out more please visit http://www.rubbuk.com/products/aircraft-hangars.htm

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